or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Apple files for digital theater, smart Apple Remote patents
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple files for digital theater, smart Apple Remote patents

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Two new patent filings published this week reveal Apple to be working on digital theater software for handheld devices that would give users the impression that they are attending a sporting or entertainment event, and a new version of the Apple Remote that wouldn't be plagued by interference from stray light sources.

Digital Theater

The first filing, made by departing iPod chief Tony Fadell and colleague John Tang this February, relates to methods of adjusting a portable display system to cater to a user's desires or, more specifically, give the user the impression he or she is in attendance at a live sporting or entertainment event.

In some instances, the user may direct the personal display device to zoom in or out of the displayed media and play back a video while displaying only a portion of the stream. In addition, the user would be able to further adjust the media display of the personal display device by masking parts of the media and adding an overlay on a portion of the display screen.

"For example, the user may select a theater, stadium, performance hall, or other location for viewing performances, and direct the personal display device to overlay the outlines of the selected location on the displayed media," Apple said. "In some embodiments, the user may select a particular theater or location to view media as if the user were in the selected theater."

To further enhance the user's belief that he or she is in the selected theater with other patrons, the personal display device may display outlines of other patrons in addition to the outlines of the theater. The outlines of other patrons could be operative to move to further increase the realism of the display.

More specifically, Apple said the user may select a particular seat or location within the theater from which to watch the media. In this case, the personal display device would display a seating map from which the user may select a particular seat. In response to receiving a selection of a seat, the display device would adjust the displayed media to give the user the impression that the media is viewed from the selected seat.

"For example, the personal display device may skew or stretch the displayed media to reflect a user's selection of a seat on the side of the theater," according to the filing. "As another example, the personal display device may modify the display of a sporting event to reflect the seat in the stadium from which the user selected to watch the event."

Alternatively, the software could display a mosaic of a plurality of media items, for which the user may select to view a particular media item. In response to a user selection of a particular media item from the mosaic, the personal display device would zoom to the selected media item, and may mask the media items other than the selected media item, superimposing any suitable type of overlay over the mask.



In addition to adjusting the displayed media, the personal display device would adjust other characteristics of played back media, such as the sound output to the user to reflect the acoustics of a selected theater, or to reflect the user's selected location within a theater. It could also introduce additional noise to reflect a sporting environment.

"When the user directs the personal display device to adjust the displayed media such that the entirety of the media provided cannot be displayed on the display (e.g., the user zoomed in the display), the personal display device may enable an option by which the user may move his head, eyes, or another body part to cause the portion of the media displayed to follow the user's movement," Apple said.

"The personal display device may detect and quantify the user's movement using any suitable approach, including for example by integrating one or more sensors in the personal display device. Upon receiving an indication of a user's movement from the sensors, the personal display device may determine the amount and speed of the users, movement, and direct the displayed media to move by an amount and at a speed related to those of the user's movement. In some embodiments, the correlation between the user's movement and the media display adjustments may be non-linear. In some embodiments, after detecting the user's movement, the personal display device may delay moving the displayed media. This may assist in reducing a user's eye fatigue."

Smart Apple Remote

The second filing, made this past July, describes an Apple Remote control system that would be more reliable than the company's existing infrared-based model in that it would be able to better distinguish predetermined light sources from stray light sources.

"Some remote control systems use infrared (IR) emitters to determine the position and/or movement of a remote control," Apple said. "Such systems, however, often experience a common problem in that they may not be able to distinguish desired or predetermined IR light sources from undesirable environmental IR sources, e.g., the sun or a light bulb. Because those systems may mistake environmental IR sources for IR emitters, they may incorrectly determine the position and/or movement of the remote control. "

Another common problem in that the systems may not be able to distinguish IR emitters from reflections of the IR emitters, like those from the surface of a table or a window. Therefore, Apple proposes remote control systems that can distinguish predetermined light sources from stray or unintended light sources, such as environmental light sources or reflections.

"In one embodiment of the present invention, the predetermined light sources can be disposed in asymmetric substantially linear or two-dimensional patterns," the filing explains. "Here, a photodetector can detect light output by the predetermined light sources and stray light sources, and transmit data representative of the detected light to one or more controllers. The controllers can identify a derivative pattern of light sources from the detected light indicative of the asymmetric pattern in which the predetermined light sources are disposed."



Alternatively, the predetermined light sources can output waveforms modulated in accordance with signature modulation characteristics. By identifying light sources that exhibit the signature modulation characteristics, a controller can distinguish the predetermined light sources from stray light sources that do not modulate their output in accordance with the signature modulation characteristics.

Apple added that each predetermined light source can output light at one or more different signature wavelengths. For example, a photodetector module could detect the signature wavelengths using multiple photodetectors, each of which could detect one of the signature wavelengths. Alternatively, the photodetector module could include an interleaved photodetector having an array of interleaved pixels. Different portions of the interleaved pixels would detect one of the signature wavelengths.

The 15-page filing is credited to Apple engineers Steve Hotelling, Nicholas King, Duncan Robert Kerr, and Wing Kong Low.
post #2 of 26
Mystery Science Theater 3000, coming to an iPhone or iPod near you.
post #3 of 26
Quote:
give the user the impression he or she is in attendance at a live sporting or entertainment event

That sounds godawful and gimmicky. Why not also add candy wrapper and coughing sounds as well?
Unless you're a paraplegic who would want this -serously.
"Oh yeah- let me obstruct my viewing area with some heads!"
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

That sounds godawful and gimmicky. Why not also add candy wrapper and coughing sounds as well?...

Yeah, that first one is real "pie-in-the-sky" stuff. Right out of a sci-fi movie.

Possibly they are patenting the general idea so they can say they were first, but I don't see that happening for 50 years (if at all). The technology just doesn't exist to do that kind of simulation right. Your whole living room would have to act like the holodeck.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
Reply
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
Reply
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Yeah, that first one is real "pie-in-the-sky" stuff. Right out of a sci-fi movie.

Possibly they are patenting the general idea so they can say they were first, but I don't see that happening for 50 years (if at all). The technology just doesn't exist to do that kind of simulation right. Your whole living room would have to act like the holodeck.

Did you see the new CNN "beam me up Scotty/Princess Leia" hologram effect for interviewing on election night?
NOw was that a technological advance for journalism or what?
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Did you see the new CNN "beam me up Scotty/Princess Leia" 2D hologram effect for interviewing on election night? NOw was that a technological advance for journalism or what?

Yesterday they had a segment on how this was actually performed. They used upwards of 40 different cameras positioned around the remote interviewee, who was positioned amongst a solid-color backdrop. They also said they weren't too confident the technology would work leading up to its debut. Sounds like they're aiming to perfect it going forward because they believe it's the future of remote interviews.

Best,

Kasper
EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
Reply
EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
Reply
post #7 of 26
I don't ever see the first one happening. I like watching movies at home so I don't get all the interference with everyone else being there.

I'm just waiting for Apple to release an all-in-one media center. That way I can get rid of my DVD player, DVR, etc.
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Yesterday they had a segment on how this was actually performed. They used upwards of 40 different cameras positioned around the remote interviewee, who was positioned amongst a solid-color backdrop. They also said they weren't too confident the technology would work leading up to its debut. Sounds like they're aiming to perfect it going forward because they believe it's the future of remote interviews.

Best,

Kasper

Anderson Cooper could barely maintain a composed face. But seriously, it opens up a whole new way to manipulate what we think we see is real - kinda scary as well.
post #9 of 26
Erm, isn't the second one actually for a Wii style remote that detects movement?

"Some remote control systems use infrared (IR) emitters to determine the position and/or movement of a remote control,"
iCreate
Get Creative. Get Involved
http://www.icreatemagazine.com
Reply
iCreate
Get Creative. Get Involved
http://www.icreatemagazine.com
Reply
post #10 of 26
For the Apple Remote, I think they should simply go to Bluetooth or ZigBee. Longer range, and you don't have to point it at the Mac. BTW I love the simplicity of the six-button thing!

On a related note, today I put a media/presentation remote onto the App Store so you can use an iPhone like a WiFi remote control for a Mac. AirMote
post #11 of 26
I want to know why they don't add a click wheel to the remote
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariofreak85 View Post

I want to know why they don't add a click wheel to the remote

it's probably too expensive to add it
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

it's like too big and probably too expensive to shrink and add it

Too big? Have you seen an iPod nano? I'd believe too expensive, but I'd be willing to pay more.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariofreak85 View Post

I want to know why they don't add a click wheel to the remote

That probably wouldn't work for an IR remote. You'd have a hard time keeping it pointed in the right direction while using the click wheel. Maybe if it was Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

A few more buttons on the remote would be nice. Preferrably programmable so I can turn the TV/stereo on/off or adjust volume. And I hope the "anti-reflection" part of the new patent isn't too aggressive. I bounce the IR signal off my walls all the time if I'm not directly in front of my system and don't have line-of-sight to the IR receiver.
post #15 of 26
Yamaha perfected audio location synthesis many years ago (subsequently used by many others) that places the listener in a venue of their choice (concert hall, jazz club, rock concert, etc.) Its easy to set up and really provides an uncanny sense of "being there." They later added sound fields for movies and video, also well done, and the rest is history (with regard to the progression of 5.1 to 9.1 decoders). Video location synthesis (perhaps in conjunction with holographic 3D) is obviously much more complex, but quite doable and likely to be very enjoyable. Live long and prosper.
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariofreak85 View Post

Too big? Have you seen an iPod nano? I'd believe too expensive, but I'd be willing to pay more.

it's still too big if the remote is left at its current size
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Did you see the new CNN "beam me up Scotty/Princess Leia" hologram effect for interviewing on election night?
NOw was that a technological advance for journalism or what?

Err, nope. Take a look at:

http://www.musion.co.uk/projects.html

In particular:

http://www.musion.co.uk/Cisco_TelePresence.html
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Yeah, that first one is real "pie-in-the-sky" stuff. Right out of a sci-fi movie.

Possibly they are patenting the general idea so they can say they were first, but I don't see that happening for 50 years (if at all). The technology just doesn't exist to do that kind of simulation right. Your whole living room would have to act like the holodeck.

Huh? Read it again. You're not getting it.
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

Huh? Read it again. You're not getting it.

It would great for someone with ADD who would feel the need to keep changing seats.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by McBear View Post

Erm, isn't the second one actually for a Wii style remote that detects movement?

"Some remote control systems use infrared (IR) emitters to determine the position and/or movement of a remote control,"

Yes, that's how I interpret it too.

As for the theater thing... some patents should stay in the filing cabinet Is there a little popup to choose which hat the person in front of you is wearing?
post #21 of 26
Hmmm, what shall I watch tonight? Placido Domingo at Hooters,
pr0n at Madison Square Garden, ballet at the Cow Palace....
post #22 of 26
It´s not a holodeck. It´s a theater in your goggles:

http://www.electronista.com/articles....track.patent/
I love the snappiness - I adore the sazzyness - I need the intuitive
Reply
I love the snappiness - I adore the sazzyness - I need the intuitive
Reply
post #23 of 26
This theater experience thing is for selling tickets. It's not for you to enjoy media but to test what row FF seat 6 would be like at the Blender theater in New York (for example).

I expect the direction of this thing to be similar to Google Maps and being able to stand on any street corner. It's just for increasing familiarity but also comes with some factor of coolness. By the way, wasn't there an article on here not too long ago that talked about taking a virtual walk with Google Maps using one of the Wii accouterments? ...Seems almost full-circle.

Anyway, Apple's going to license this to Ticketmaster or LiveNation or use it for cross-promoting the iTunes store somehow.
When will the governments realize it's got to be funky, sexy ladies?
-Flight of the Conchords
Reply
When will the governments realize it's got to be funky, sexy ladies?
-Flight of the Conchords
Reply
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by grayum View Post

Err, nope. Take a look at:

http://www.musion.co.uk/Cisco_TelePresence.html

Well, actually, teckstud did say it was a technological advance for journalism--not just an advance in technology...
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
Reply
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
Reply
post #25 of 26
What a load of crap.

Choosing camera angles and zooming in, just sounds like all the features DVD players can have but no DVD's ever supported, and this what's the point? When I watch something I just wanna watch it, not much around with picture angles and sound.

As for the remote, rather than trying to sort out any issues with IR why not just use some other form of wireless connectivity? Others already do and it works fine for them. No idea what my Sky remote uses but you seem to be able to aim that in any direction and it always works.
post #26 of 26
Apple VR goggles and Nintendo Wii Motion Plus need to crawl into bed together and make some sweet First Person Shooter love.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Future Apple Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Apple files for digital theater, smart Apple Remote patents