Posts tagged "United States Patent and Trademark Office"

This Week’s Apple Rumors, Ranked From Dumbest to Most Plausible

Each week, there are dozens of Apple rumors, reports, and patent filings that hint at what’s coming out of Cupertino next. Some are legit, but most are totally bogus. We’ve parsed the week’s rumors, ranking them in order from “utterly ridiculous” to “duh, of course.” First up…

ASK AGAIN LATER: Apple Inventing Solar Charging Accessory Apple’s been dabbling in the solar power game for a while — at least according to its intellectual property filings. The company’s latest invention to come out of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is a solar panel accessory that doesn’t need a power converter and would work with a MacBook, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch via USB or a power connector. They key part of the patent is the power management circuitry, which could be embedded in the device itself. Could we start seeing partially solar powered devices or accessories from Apple in the not too distant future? It’s definitely possible.

ASK AGAIN LATER: Retina iPad Mini Could Launch November 21 Target.com let slip in a product listing that the iPad mini with Retina display would be released November 21, a week before Thanksgiving. This particular release date is interesting — Apple usually releases products on a Friday (like the iPad Air, which just went on sale today). However, with holiday travel, Black Friday, and all that jazz, it could make sense for Apple to give iPad mini admirers some extra time before the weekend officially lands to get their hands on the new tablet. Or maybe the 21st isn’t the real date after all.

SIGNS POINT TO YES: Job Listing Indicates Apple Working on Maps’ Transit Directions It’s about time: Two job listing seem to show that Apple is working on adding transit directions to Apple Maps. The positions are “Maps Public Transit Engineering Manager” and “Public Transit Software Engineer,” and both would (logically) work on the Maps team to improve its “Transit Routing” platform. If it wants to be competitive with mapping app leaders like Google, transit directions are a must. It makes complete sense that Apple would want to beef up its team on this front.

WITHOUT A DOUBT: Apple Experimenting With Curved Glass Wrist-Worn Devices According to The New York Times, Apple is exploring a wristwatch-like device made of curved glass. Between the company’s recent wearables-related hires, other whispers from employees and suppliers, and CEO Tim Cook’s frequent teases, it’s almost a given that Apple is working on some sort of wearable device. Apple has also patented a means for bending glass, providing evidence the company is taking some time to explore the curved glass space. (Corning has been working on curved Gorilla Glass for a while now too). As for when we’ll see these devices and what they’ll look like, that’s still anyone’s guess

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Posted by plates55 - November 2, 2013 at 1:30 pm

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Google buys 217 more patents from IBM to bolster IP portfolio

Google purchased another round of patents from IBM in the last week of 2011, adding 217 filings as the search giant looks to strengthen its existing IP portfolio to help protect itself in an increasingly litigious tech industry.
A report on Tuesday revealed that the United States Patent and Trademark Office officially recorded Google’s acquisition of 188 granted patents and 29 published pending applications from IBM in its patent assignment database on Dec. 30, 2011, according to blog SEO by the Sea.
The patents, which were effectively assigned to Google on Dec. 28, 2011, cover a variety of topics pertinent to the company’s internet business including blade servers, server load balancing, email administration and network performance.
Also found in the batch of intellectual property are patents useful to Google’s Android smartphone platform, like portable OS updating, transferring of web applications between devices, voice based keyword searching and a computer phone patent.
The keyword searching patent is of particular interest as Apple’s Siri digital assistant is seen as a key feature of the company’s iPhone 4S, with at least one market analyst saying that it was one of the main drivers of November sales for the new handset. Google is rumored to be working on a Siri competitor for its Android OS, naming the project “Majel” after Star Trek’s on-board computer.
Google has been on an IBM patent buying spree over the last year, with a July 2011 acquisition of 1,030 filings being followed by purchases of 1,022 filings and 41 filings in August and September, respectively.
The financials of the patent buy has yet to be revealed, and both Google and IBM don’t normally disclose the details of such transactions

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Posted by plates55 - January 4, 2012 at 8:20 am

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Get Ready for Face-Recognition on iPhone, Apple files Patent

The latest buzz is that ‘face-recognition’ considered being one of the most sought after privacy tools in the recent time might now come to your iPhone and iPad too. Apple Inc. known for its persistent affinity towards innovation at the highest level has filed for a patent at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In a recent free publication, the patent Office has divulged details of Apple’s applicationto offer “low-computational” face recognition capabilities.

“This specification relates to low threshold face recognition, e.g., a face recognition system that can tolerate a certain level of false positives in making face recognition determinations.

Most face recognition systems fall into one of two categories. A first category system tends to be robust and can tackle various lighting conditions, orientations, scale and the like, and tends to be computationally expensive. A second category system is specialized for security-type applications and can work under controlled lighting conditions. Adopting the first category systems for face recognition on consumer operated portable appliances that are equipped with a camera would unnecessarily use an appliance’s computing resources and drain its power. Moreover, as the consumer portable appliances tend to be used both indoor and outdoor, the second category systems for face recognition may be ineffective”.

So, how will it help…

The ‘face-recognition’ tool will help iOS users with a forward-facing camera device to customize their profile with personalized wallpaper, apps and settings. Therefore, your profile cannot be accessed by anyone other than the face recognised by the device.

Face-recognition technology for devices has recently been adapted by several makers for their products. However, there have been a serious many debate as to if the robust facial recognition systems that worked under various lighting conditions could be taxing on an electronic device. Apple’s technology on the other hand, proposes to help reduce the impact of lighting conditions and biometric distortions on an image. In the application filed, Apple Inc. has described it as a “low-computation solution for reasonably effective, low threshold, face recognition that can be implemented on camera-equipped consumer portable appliances”.

Thereby, instead of analyzing the entire face of a user, which Apple believes would consume much time and resources, the Cupertino Company’s proposed patent would depend on “high information portion” of a human face, such as the eyes, mouth and tip of the nose. It would rather seek to measure the distance between a user’s eyes and mouth, and reference this against the original image to ascertain the identity of the user. The patent application stresses on the fact that owing to the low power consumption, the face-recognition function could be constantly active; thus potentially allowing users to turn on the screen and unlock their iOS device by pointing it at their face.

What are your views on this ‘face-recognition’ system patent sought after by Apple? Do you think this will prove to be a useful tool?

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Posted by plates55 - January 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm

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