updated 11:35 am EDT, Tue October 2, 2007
Blemish removal patent
Among more mundane patents for a power fixture and an iPod dock adapter, Apple has been granted a new image-editing patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Connected to iPhoto, the technology is intended to "better realize the great potential of amateur digital photography" through a new blemish removal technique. Users select the tool, place their cursor over the blemish, and click; the program then removes the blemish using a Dirichlet theorem. The particular set of equations creates a smooth surface within a circle, relying on the values of points on the outside. To prevent smoothed-out blemishes from looking unnatural, some pixelization is deliberately introduced. A diagram below shows a simplified version of the graphical interface used; the patent is credited solely to Russell Reid of Palo Alto.