Interesting Apple filings surface in patent databases

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple Computer has recently filed for patents on several interesting technologies that cover iPods wirelessly communicating with TVs, an online teleconferencing whiteboard, an integrated sensing display, and virtual keys of a touch-screen virtual keyboard.



Wireless iPods and TVs



A patent originally filed with the United States Patent and Trademark office on Oct. 25, 2004 and published on Thursday describes a wireless network in which data and images can be transfered wirelessly from a digital music player to a TV or from a host machine to a digital music player.



In the filing, titled "Image scaling arrangement," Apple describes the invention as "methods and system for transferring images between devices is disclosed. For example, differently scaled images by a host device may automatically and/or selectively be transferred to a media player for display. In turn, appropriately scaled images may be transferred automatically and/or selectively to another display device for example a TV, camera or printer. The selectivity may occur either at the host level or at the player level."



iChat whiteboard



Last week, a patent filing credited to Apple Computer and titled "Method and apparatus for establishing communication between two teleconferencing endpoints" turned up at the European Patent Office.



The filing is being discussed heavily on the Internet as it includes diagrams that suggest Apple could be working on a virtual whiteboard technology that may eventually make its way into applications such as iChat.



In addition to chat and video conferencing windows, figures in the filing appear to show a live communication window in which the residing media content can be manipulated in real-time by parties on both ends of the communication spectrum.



"Such applications sometimes also include data sharing wherein various types of data such as documents, spreadsheets, graphic data, or other types of data, can be shared and manipulated by all participants in the teleconference," Apple software engineers explained in the "Background" to the filing.



Integrated sensing display



Another Apple patent filing -- originally overlooked by the media -- has alos suddenly garnered attention from various online outlets. The filing, titled "Integrated sensing display," was first filed on Jun. 21, 2004 and later published on Jan. 12, 2006.



In the filing, Apple engineers describe a new kind of computer display that can simultaneously take photos while displaying media on the screen.



The idea behind the invention is to wedge thousands of microscopic image sensors between the LCD cells that make up the display. Each sensor would be responsible for capturing a piece of the overall photo. These pieces would then almost instantly be pieced together by software to form a complete image.



Virtual keys of a touch-screen virtual keyboard



Yet another recent patent filing -- credited to familiar Apple fellows Bas Ording and Andre Bartley -- is titled "Activating virtual keys of a touch-screen virtual keyboard."



The invention in the Sept. 16, 2005 filing is described as "a method of operating a touch screen to activate one of a plurality of virtual keys is provided. A touch location is determined based on location data pertaining to touch input on the touch screen, wherein the touch input is intended to activate one of the plurality of virtual keys. Each of the plurality of virtual keys has a set of at least one key location corresponding to it. For each of the virtual keys, a parameter (such as physical distance) is determined for that virtual key that relates the touch location and the set of at least one key location corresponding to that virtual key. The determined parameters are processed to determine one of the virtual keys. For example, the determined one virtual key may be the virtual key with a key location (or more than one key location, on average) being closest to the touch location. A signal is generated indicating activation of the determined one of the virtual keys."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    amac4meamac4me Posts: 282member
    I expect to see some really "cool" products from Apple as a result of these filings. The "Think Different" core at the heart of Apple engineering has a history of changing the way consumers use technology.



    These patent filings will eventually find their way into some awesome Apple products.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AppleInsider

    In the filing, Apple engineers describe a new kind of computer display that can simultaneously take photos while displaying media on the screen.



    The idea behind the invention is to wedge thousands of microscopic image sensors between the LCD cells that make up the display. Each sensor would be responsible for capturing a piece of the overall photo. These pieces would then almost instantly be pieced together by software to form a complete image.




    I think this has a lot less to do with 'taking photos' than it has to do with technologies like the 'virtual keyboard' described immediately after it (because it used photo-like sensors, it could sense multiple 'touches' at once); though it would be cool to be able to look at the screen instead of a webcam in iChat.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Any products developed off of these patent filings couldn't come fast enough from my perspective... 8)
  • Reply 4 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jdbartlett

    I think this has a lot less to do with 'taking photos' than it has to do with technologies like the 'virtual keyboard' described immediately after it (because it used photo-like sensors, it could sense multiple 'touches' at once); though it would be cool to be able to look at the screen instead of a webcam in iChat.



    could it be used to scan a document into the computer, dont see why not, would be great for a tablet, imagine scanning in a document and being able to write notes onto it.





    Rich
  • Reply 5 of 36
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jdbartlett

    I think this has a lot less to do with 'taking photos' than it has to do with technologies like the 'virtual keyboard' described immediately after it (because it used photo-like sensors, it could sense multiple 'touches' at once); though it would be cool to be able to look at the screen instead of a webcam in iChat.



    This idea was developed a couple of years ago... (I wish I could remember the source-maybe it was Texas Instruments?)... for a chip that was both a display and a photo sensor. It just sounds like it's getting closer to product status.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally posted by xUKHCx

    could it be used to scan a document into the computer, dont see why not, would be great for a tablet, imagine scanning in a document and being able to write notes onto it.





    Rich




    That is a genius idea. Even for laptop users it would be great. They would be able to make it quite high resolution aswell.



    stu
  • Reply 7 of 36
    geo06geo06 Posts: 19member
    The amazing things technology can do.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally posted by stustanley

    That is a genius idea. Even for laptop users it would be great. They would be able to make it quite high resolution aswell.



    stu




    if this were the case, i would be willing to spend lots and lots of money on it, for my uni lectures and suppose it would make me the coolest dog in town
  • Reply 9 of 36
    josa92josa92 Posts: 193member
    Wow.

    All my dreams have come true! w00t.





    <ahem>

    I would like to see the cmera thingy in a Mac Book Pro in the near future so when a picture is taken or when using iChat I can look at the screen.

    Instead of the bezel. I must look nutters.

    But the picture-taking idea (or camera) is super-super-cool, daddy-o.



    So yea. Let's see it now, Apple!!!!









    Please?
  • Reply 10 of 36
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    Just allow the wireless iPod to boot Mac OS X mobile (much as Windows mobile does on some handhelds and smart phones) and you have the ultimate presentation tool:



    1. Make presentation in your Mac o PC using Keynote or PowerPoint.

    2. Load it into the wireless iPod.

    3. Go to the lecture room and use the wireless iPod to give your presentation. the wireless iPod boots Mac OS X and communicates with a wireless videoprojector. No cables involved. No computer involved.



    This will sell millions to the corporate, educational and domestic markets. The halo effect will be tremendous.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by zunx

    The halo effect will be tremendous.



    There's that halo effect again!
  • Reply 12 of 36
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,148member
    Let's not get too excited about all of this. Companies get patents in many areas. Most of them never show up as products.



    The monitor as a camera, for example, sounds nice. But the logistics of actually manufacturing such a thing is off somewhere in the future, if at all.



    There is no technology that would enable that to be built in the next few years.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    That's true...some of this will take a while.



    Still, virtual whiteboard/doc-sharing? Sounds like a move that could be included for consumers in iChat, but also aimed at businesses in a new app called Conference Room or the like. Seriously...if some of this innovative spirit were applied to capturing the business market...it would help businesse a lot, I think, to get better technology.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by NateRiver

    That's true...some of this will take a while.



    Still, virtual whiteboard/doc-sharing? Sounds like a move that could be included for consumers in iChat, but also aimed at businesses in a new app called Conference Room or the like. Seriously...if some of this innovative spirit were applied to capturing the business market...it would help businesse a lot, I think, to get better technology.




    Now if they only had some way to allow the video conferencing and the collaborative document to coexist...
  • Reply 15 of 36
    michaelbmichaelb Posts: 242member
    1. Exciting patents.



    2. Steve Jobs to shareholders: ?The new products in the pipeline are the best I?ve ever seen in my life.?



    3. Me happy!
  • Reply 16 of 36
    skatmanskatman Posts: 609member
    Quote:

    Most of them never show up as products.



    That is a BIG understatement. :-)



    Quote:

    2. Steve Jobs to shareholders: ?The new products in the pipeline are the best I?ve ever seen in my life.?



    What do you think he was going to say? The products in the pipeline suck big time! In fact if I were you I'd dump the shares of the company ASAP?
  • Reply 17 of 36
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    Now if they only had some way to allow the video conferencing and the collaborative document to coexist...



    You mean like running iChat and SubEthaEdit at the same time? Oh, I do that already.



    The whiteboard idea has been around since before Apple. Xerox were demoing that in the 70s.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by aegisdesign

    You mean like running iChat and SubEthaEdit at the same time? Oh, I do that already.



    The whiteboard idea has been around since before Apple. Xerox were demoing that in the 70s.




    I did have a free whiteboard app in the early web days running on my old Quadra... wish I could remember the name. It wasn't very sophisticated, but it did work.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by aegisdesign

    You mean like running iChat and SubEthaEdit at the same time? Oh, I do that already.



    The whiteboard idea has been around since before Apple. Xerox were demoing that in the 70s.




    No, I mean this: http://www.cs.unc.edu/~smithja/facetop/



    The current approach, like you use, has your attention split between the video conf, and the document. The video conf adds nothing of real value to the document sharing, because you lose the ability to do the most natural thing, which is to *point* at the document. With FaceTop, it's like you're sitting side by side with the person working on the same computer.



    It's a huge leap in usefulness in user studies.
  • Reply 20 of 36
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    No, I mean this: http://www.cs.unc.edu/~smithja/facetop/



    The current approach, like you use, has your attention split between the video conf, and the document. The video conf adds nothing of real value to the document sharing, because you lose the ability to do the most natural thing, which is to *point* at the document. With FaceTop, it's like you're sitting side by side with the person working on the same computer.



    It's a huge leap in usefulness in user studies.




    This is great!



    keep it real

    (pardon me for being so rude, it wasn't me, it was my food)
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