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Apple exploring motion-adaptive iPhone with video chat

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Patent requests from Apple continue to provide clues as to where the company may take its iPhone interface in the coming years, such as a new filing which depicts a version of the handset with a front-facing video camera and a software interface capable of adjusting itself for more precise interaction when the user carrying the phone is in motion.

While the former discovery hints towards the inevitable adoption of video conference capabilities by the iPhone in the coming years, the adaptive software interface concept could materialize much sooner, improving a user's accuracy in making touch selections by increasing the size of user interface elements on the touch-screen when it's determined that the user is operating the device while jogging or participation in some other kind of motion-based activity.

For example, Apple notes that some users may use their iPod touch of iPhone while out for a run or hustling between business meetings. At these times, it may be desirable to simultaneously place a call by making a selection from the contact list or change to a different music track by making a selection in an album list. However, these simple tasks can be slightly more challenging on the go than when stationary because they require the user to divert their attention from their primary activity to make an accurate selection on what could be a sweat-slicked or jittering dislay.

To solve this problem, the Cupertino-based company proposes an updated version of iPhone software that can detect when the device is in motion and then compare the detected degree of motion to one or more predetermined "signatures of motion." The iPhone software could then adjust itself by enlarging selection areas on the screen to a degree suitable for the current motion of the device and user.

"For example, if the user wishes to view the contact information for 'John Adams,' the user touches the display over the area of the row for the contact 'John Adams,'" Apple says. "While the device is moving, the motion of the device can be detected. The device can change the size of the rows of the contacts in the contact list application to give the user a larger target area for each contact. For example, the height of a row can be increased. This gives the user a larger touch area with which to select a contact. In some implementations, the height of the toolbar can be increased as well."

Similarly, changes to the size of the elements on the iPhone's home screen can be made after similar detections, in most cases increasing the size of application icons based on the degree of detected motion. This same concept could also carry over to the on-screen keyboard, the company adds, by which the size of each key could in some way be enlarged for more accurate text input while on the go.



The 16-page filing made back in November of 2007 also suggests that interface elements -- such as an array of home screen icons -- could shift their position on the screen based on predictions of where the user may touch the screen, though the need for such adjustments isn't entirely clear from Apple's description.



"The shift moves the target touch areas of the display objects to a different position. In some implementations, the new position is a predetermined distance from the original position," the company says. "In some other implementations, the new position is determined by the device based on a prediction of where the user will touch the touch-sensitive display if the user wanted to select the user interface element while the device is in motion."



The filing is credited to Apple employee John Louch. For those interested, the front-facing video camera depicted in Apple's illustrations is the element labeled "180" near the proximity and ambient light sensors.
post #2 of 14
Don't need this anymore...
post #3 of 14
and everyone's happy

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #4 of 14
killer....

One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

For those interested, the front-facing video camera depicted in Apple's illustrations is the element labeled "180" near the proximity and ambient light sensors.

Is that in the description? Because looking at the picture, I'd assume the broken line meant "on the back."
post #6 of 14
is it just me or does the icon for the calender show day date and month now?
post #7 of 14
That iPhone has more buttons on the side as well, but this is brilliant idea. I have no idea how Apple invents so many things.
Apple had me at scrolling
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Apple had me at scrolling
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post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

That iPhone has more buttons on the side as well, but this is brilliant idea. I have no idea how Apple invents so many things.

Invent? No.
Implement something in a different way... yes.

But this isn't anything new. Camera sensor on the front of a device is hardly an invention. Look at your nearest digital camera.

Apple is great at re-packaging technology in new fun ways. Nothing terribly earth-shattering though. When they come out with inter-stellar warp drive on their own... THEN I'll applaud them for being inventive and earth shattering (and knowing how they do things... very literally! )
(GUI: Xerox. OS X: Unix. Hardware: Intel, Nvidia, Various. iTunes: Media Player. Etc....)

Anyhow, this is just a patent filing for an implementation of a camera on the front of their devices... I guess no one else got there first.
Go Linux, Choose a Flavor!
"I aim to misbehave"
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Go Linux, Choose a Flavor!
"I aim to misbehave"
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post #9 of 14
So that nose-hair can stay in focus!

Video-calling on a mobile isn't the way of the future, put in on ATV tomorrow.

McD
Android proves (as Windows & VHS did before it) that if you want to control people, give us choices and the belief we're capable of making them. We're all 'living' the American dream.
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Android proves (as Windows & VHS did before it) that if you want to control people, give us choices and the belief we're capable of making them. We're all 'living' the American dream.
Reply
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

Invent? No.
Implement something in a different way... yes.

But this isn't anything new. Camera sensor on the front of a device is hardly an invention. Look at your nearest digital camera.

Apple is great at re-packaging technology in new fun ways. Nothing terribly earth-shattering though. When they come out with inter-stellar warp drive on their own... THEN I'll applaud them for being inventive and earth shattering (and knowing how they do things... very literally! )
(GUI: Xerox. OS X: Unix. Hardware: Intel, Nvidia, Various. iTunes: Media Player. Etc....)

Anyhow, this is just a patent filing for an implementation of a camera on the front of their devices... I guess no one else got there first.

Wouldn't you guess that he was talking about the motion adaptive UI, which is, in fact, pretty innovative? Note that the article barely mentions the camera.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Wouldn't you guess that he was talking about the motion adaptive UI, which is, in fact, pretty innovative? Note that the article barely mentions the camera.

True, about the camera. But also to the beef of the article, again I say its implementation of their hardware. This has been done already on the original MacBook Pro, where you could download a program that used the internal sensors to keep the screen image steady and in the correct orientation in relation to gravity. True, not exactly the best implementation of the hardware since it meant your screen space was diminished if you were at a tilt, but still, this has been done before and is nothing new. Apple just is implementing previous ideas in a better fashion, they didn't invent it.
Go Linux, Choose a Flavor!
"I aim to misbehave"
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Go Linux, Choose a Flavor!
"I aim to misbehave"
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post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

True, about the camera. But also to the beef of the article, again I say its implementation of their hardware. This has been done already on the original MacBook Pro, where you could download a program that used the internal sensors to keep the screen image steady and in the correct orientation in relation to gravity. True, not exactly the best implementation of the hardware since it meant your screen space was diminished if you were at a tilt, but still, this has been done before and is nothing new. Apple just is implementing previous ideas in a better fashion, they didn't invent it.

This seems to come up any time Apple's creations are under discussion.

What I think you're talking about is a very narrow definition of "invent" that requires the innovation to be sui generis to qualify.

No, Apple hasn't invented the wheel, or the printing press, or internal combustion. But, a motion adaptive UI that senses your level of activity and adjusts target sizes and position accordingly is genuinely new and counts as an "invention", I think, despite the fact that the bits and pieces are extent technology.

If "uses preexisting technology" disallows "invention" status, I think we'd have to agree no further inventions are possible.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

....implementation of their hardware. This has been done already on the original MacBook Pro, where you could download a program that used the internal sensors to keep the screen image steady and in the correct orientation in relation to gravity. .....

Would you be so kind and offer me some direction for this project/software?
post #14 of 14
Rich Koster
DisneyEcho webMOUSEter
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Rich Koster
DisneyEcho webMOUSEter
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