Patently Apple Stories March 13, 2014

iWatch likely contains pedometer; Jawbone designer imagines ‘wearable kit of sensors’

With Apple’s iWatch looking set to have a major health and fitness angle, and likely to be bristling with sensors, it seems likely that a pedometer will be one of them. Patently Apple reports on an Apple patent designed to allow steps to be accurately tracked using a wrist-mounted device. Or, in patentspeak:

In some implementations, optimizations for detecting steps when a pedometer is worn at a user’s wrist are described. In some implementations, a threshold crossing step detection method can be enhanced for wrist locations by counting the number of positive peaks between comparison threshold crossings, adjusting a minimum peak-to-peak threshold for qualifying threshold crossings, and inferring a second step based on the amount of time between threshold crossings. In some implementations, the pedometer can automatically determine that the pedometer is being worn on a user’s wrist.

Jawbone’s design lead Yves Béhar, meantime, has been imagining how “a wearable kit of sensors” could enable us to effectively take our doctor with us wherever we go in a piece written for TIME

Patently Apple Stories March 12, 2014

United Airlines preparing iOS-exclusive in-flight movie service, rolling out next month

United Airlines is preparing to launch a brand-new service for in-flight movies that will be exclusive to Apple’s iOS devices. The service will allow customers to stream around 150 movies and 200 TV shows to their devices completely free while mid-flight.

The airline plans to start rolling this service as soon as next month for some flights. The hardware to support the system needs to be installed in each plane individually, but United is hopeful that its entire domestic fleet will be outfitted with the technology by the end of the year…

Patently Apple Stories August 7, 2012

Apple granted patent for app to assist shoppers in finding best prices

Patently Apple covered an Apple Inc. patent today published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that appears to be related to an app designed to assist shoppers by providing product and retailer information for scanned items. The invention would provide similar functionality to various third-party apps currently in the App Store that use barcode scanning and image recognition to search the web for product information and price comparisons. Patently Apple explained:

Apple has received their first Granted Patent relating to methods for conducting shopping-related transactions with a handheld electronic device. In some embodiments a mobile electronic device may be used to identify a product and obtain pricing information relevant to retailers of the product within a specified geographical location. In another embodiment, a mobile electronic device may be used to acquire pricing information for a shopping list of products. Embodiments may also include a variety of features that make the shopping experience quick and efficient while allowing the consumer to hunt for a better bargain. Furthermore, several embodiments also allow the product manufacturers and/or retailers to distribute relevant product information to targeted consumers who are known to be, or who may be, interested in buying a particular product.

Patently Apple Stories July 10, 2012

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a series of Apple-granted patents today related to iTravel that reek of Passbook and Near Field Communications.

According to Patently Apple, the “boarding pass and express check-in” feature spotlighted in iOS 6’s Passbook app, which Senior Vice President of iPhone Software Scott Forstall previously announced, is covered in today’s iTravel patent. Apple also received coverage for NFC tech, that we think has a pretty good shot of going into the next iPhone, within iTravel that concerns the check-in process and, more specifically, factors for transportation providers to perform identification and ticketing checks.

Patently Apple explained:

  • Apple’s iTravel check-in system will work with Macs, but more importantly, with iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Ticketing and identification information will be stored on the iOS device and transmitted, such as via near field communication, to another electronic device. The handheld device may be used to check into flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, trains, buses, and so forth.
  • Additionally, traveler identification information may be transmitted electronically to enable faster security verification during check-in. The traveler identification information may enable automatic lookup of the traveler in a security database, thereby reducing the inconveniences of incorrect identification. Travelers may also provide specialized identification, such as fingerprints or retinal scans, in order to provide heightened security on high-risk modes of transportation.

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Patently Apple Stories March 29, 2012

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Patently Apple did what it does and dug up a patent related to building 3D avatars:

Earlier today we introduced Apple’s 3D Avatar App which covered a basic overview of the new application in the works. Now a second patent application has surfaced and it actually shows that the app is already running on an iPad! We have the screenshot to prove it. The new patent application focuses on how the app will work with color palettes and more. The big news however is that the new 3D Avatar App is in its final stages of development and that’s very cool. Evidently phase-one of the application is geared for the younger crowd, but other editions could be in the works as discussed in our first report today.

This could be for GameCenter or a number of other areas where you would want to create an online personality.

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Patently Apple Stories March 20, 2012

Late last year, the New York Times did a great interactive feature on the 323 Patents that Steve Jobs was granted as CEO of Apple.

From Patently Apple today:

Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a design patent for their flagship Shanghai Apple Store which opened its doors in September 2010. One of the designers credited for this incredible architecture is the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

He keeps racking them up… expand full story

Patently Apple Stories November 27, 2011

Update: Ooops. Originally thought this was an Apple patent.

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Patently Apple today publishes some interesting new patents from developers including what appears to be an “iRobot” (oops, name taken) built around an iPad head.

iRobot’s introductory abstract describes the invention this way: “A robot system includes a mobile robot having a controller executing a control system for controlling operation of the robot, a cloud computing service in communication with the controller of the robot, and a remote computing device in communication with the cloud computing service. The remote computing device communicates with the robot through the cloud computing service.”

Subsequent drawings include navigation and obstacle avoidance (below) which seems to indicate that this is a “mobile” device in every sense of the word.  Most of the perceived applications appear to be in the medical setting… expand full story

Patently Apple Stories August 31, 2011

As noted by PatentlyApple, Apple has filed a patent report today that details a new diagnostic tool that works through iTunes. The tool uses in-depth change logs that details firmware updates, physical conditions that surround the device during the events, the location of the device, and more. iTunes could be set to find corruption in the change log to let the user, and possibly a support Genius, know of what needs to be changed.

The log may be generated periodically (e.g., every 5 milliseconds, every 30 minutes, every 5 hours, after every reset, or at any other time based or event based or environment based event occurs). Each generated log may be stored on the Apple device or uploaded to a remote entity, and each log may be retained or overwritten by a more recently generated log depending on available storage space and/or processing capabilities, for example.

So what about privacy? The log will contain only information that will aid Apple in helping you, and will be without any personal information. As we’d imagine, each time you connect a device, like an iPhone, to iTunes it will pull the log. Like any patent, this might not actually be used. But hey, anything to save a trip to the Genius Bar right? Could this possibly tie in with this morning’s report regarding a web based tool?

Patently Apple Stories May 17, 2011

Patently Apple today reveals a trademark today by Apple for the word “Noteworthy” which they postulate is a new OCR app that could be released in iOS 5.  One use would be taking an image and turing it into a document like Google’s recent Docs app does.

Update: Apple has a Font named Noteworthy which is likely the reason for registration expand full story

Patently Apple Stories December 9, 2010

Apple is deadly serious with its App-driven vision for life in the clouds, with a new patent application describing its new way to share and buy apps from the cloud.

Published today and spotted by Patently Apple the application reveals the concepts behind the Apple vision, whch essentially allows users to share apps on their phones — say you were impressed the first time you saw Angry Birds, for example. expand full story

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