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Apple wins photography, predictive text patents

updated 12:44 pm EDT, Tue July 31, 2012

Photography tech reacts to object recognition

Apple has won several new patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office. Two of these are specifically related to digital photography; the first, Dynamic exposure metering based on face detection, describes a system through which a device can adjust automatically to best expose the faces in a scene. The other, Auto focus speed enhancement using object recognition and resolution, also revolves mainly around faces, using known face sizes to more quickly determine the right focus settings.

Both of the photography patents appear to document technology already in iOS 5 and the latest iPhones and iPads. For Apple, though, the patents may be useful as a legal weapon against rival phone and tablet makers.

Separately, a patent titledMethod, device, and graphical user interface providing word recommendations for text input is designed to make it easier to type using a touchscreen. As a person taps out each of the letters in a word, Apple's system attempts to predict what the word will be with increasing precision. This in turn allows software to increase touch-sensitive areas around the right keys, ensuring that even sloppy typing still hits the right letters.

Notably, one of the people credited with the predictive text patent is Apple's senior VP for iOS software, Scott Forstall. It's difficult to judge whether Apple will or has already implemented the technology, since part of the point of the patent is to make typing easier without increasing the visible size of the keyboard.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. aviamquepasa

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-22-11

    ok, super, more difficulties to software developers in those areas... how to go around those methods... now apple is like microsoft 20 years ago, or worse. O, wait, I have 1 billion to waste in a patent dispute, go for it....

  1. davoud

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-14-05

    Christ, just what I need, more instances of Apple second guessing what I want to write and inserting its own text in place of what I meant to write. This is especially annoying in scientific writing, where this technology knows none of the words, and where mistakes are unacceptable. Predictive my ass! It'll be 25 years before AI has reached the point where a computer knows what I might want to say. Keep it up, Apple. Though I have nine working Macs in the house, I've got three Windows licenses as well, and Windows 7 is very close to equaling Mountain Lion.

  1. Grendelmon

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 12-26-07

    This is especially annoying in scientific writing, where this technology knows none of the words, and where mistakes are unacceptable.

    I just wish that iOS allowed to you add terms to a "whitelist" that auto-correct would ignore. It would save me a lot of time and frustration.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Apple, looks like the fruit is getting older every day.... reminds me of perishables

  1. pottymouth

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-19-03

    Davoud, read back. It's not about predicting and offering words necessarily. It's about recognizing common letter patterns and making it easier to hit the most likely target. The predictive text patent is existing tech and has been at the core of the iPhone's virtual keyboard software since day one. It was described in detail in the iPhone launch. "Pizza" was the example used in the demo. If you hit P and I, there are a ton of possibilities for what you might hit next. But once you hit that Z, the software can be almost entirely sure that the next character is also going to be a Z so it increases the size of the button (not visually). Try it.

    Grendelmon, autocorrect gets it wrong every once in a while—often with hilarious results— but it also learns. It builds it's own whitelist. If you dig your lolcats and like to write "teh" instead of "the" it will stop trying to correct you after a while.

    Personally, I think the virtual keyboard is amazing. Most people that have trouble with it only have the trouble because they don't trust it. Don't try to fix your mistakes as you type; just go! The world would be a much better place (gramatically) if we all had iPhones to correct our typos.

  1. pottymouth

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-19-03

    Originally Posted by NewsPosterView Post

    ...It's difficult to judge whether Apple will or has already implemented the technology, since part of the point of the patent is to make typing easier without increasing the visible size of the keyboard.



    Yes, this is implemented. It was even demoed publicly at the keynote where Steve introduced the original iPhone.

  1. davoud

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-14-05

    If it really worked that way, pity the person who tried to write a story about Strauss's Pizzicato Polka! As it is, I type pizz in Pages on my iPhone and it does nothing. That's good. I add the i--pizzi and it suggests pizzicato. Excellent! iOS knows that word.

    My issue is with iOS changing words that I have typed or nearly finished typing, and that iOS does not know, so that I have to go back and make a correction. Miss one correction and you have a mistake--though the word has Apple's imprimatur. Shades of Ladle Rat Rotten Hut. This would be a great feature if iOS could remember the words that I use. I would even be willing to do a Nuance-type training where I feed it text documents with my writings and it learns from those documents the words that I use.

    I would love to begin typing Ichneumon ambulatorius or Reticulitermes lucifugus and have iOS pick it up and run with it. If it failed to correct an error that I had made I would take responsibility for that error just as I would for any other misspelling or typographical error that I might make. Asking too much, perhaps?

    BTW, if you don't know what Ladle Rat Rotten Hut is, don't bother asking Siri. It will offer to search the web, but you can do that for yourself.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Pottymouth, serious.... have you ever owned the first generation iPods? Do you remember that you used to be able to drag and drop your media libraries, data, etc. directly to your iPod and then, WHAM!! ... it worked?.... can you explain why that is not possible nowadays??? Yeah.... thought so. Talk when you got the ammo to back up your claim.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    Pottymouth, serious.... have you ever owned the first generation iPods? Do you remember that you used to be able to drag and drop your media libraries, data, etc. directly to your iPod and then, WHAM!! ... it worked?.... can you explain why that is not possible nowadays??? Yeah.... thought so. Talk when you got the ammo to back up your claim.



    I have the original 5 GB iPod.

    The default was to auto-sync everything.

    Dragging and dropping directly to the iPod, and deleting from the iPod by hand, was possible via iTunes when you clicked the check mark to "manually manage music".

    EXACTLY THE SAME WAY IT STILL WORKS TODAY on all iPhones, iPods, and iPads.

    You were NEVER able to drag media directly to an iPod and have it show in its player.

    The only thing that went away was being able to use the iPod as a mobile drive directly from the Explorer/Finder. And that wasn't nearly as useful as people like to remember. Arguably, USB sticks made that functionality irrelevant, and the tendency to auto-sync by default made hooking up an iPod to another machine more nerve-wracking than practical, anyway. Apart from the fact that a Mac-formatted iPod didn't work on a Windows machine, anyway.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post


    I have the original 5 GB iPod.
    The default was to auto-sync everything.
    Dragging and dropping directly to the iPod, and deleting from the iPod by hand, was possible via iTunes when you clicked the check mark to "manually manage music".
    EXACTLY THE SAME WAY IT STILL WORKS TODAY on all iPhones, iPods, and iPads.
    You were NEVER able to drag media directly to an iPod and have it show in its player.
    The only thing that went away was being able to use the iPod as a mobile drive directly from the Explorer/Finder. And that wasn't nearly as useful as people like to remember. Arguably, USB sticks made that functionality irrelevant, and the tendency to auto-sync by default made hooking up an iPod to another machine more nerve-wracking than practical, anyway. Apart from the fact that a Mac-formatted iPod didn't work on a Windows machine, anyway.

    I believe the mobile drive feature was useful.... you can boot and restore the mac OS right from your iPod. So yeah...

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    I believe the mobile drive feature was useful.... you can boot and restore the mac OS right from your iPod. So yeah...


    So, apart from the fact that you were wrong on being able to drag stuff onto the iPod and play it there, you've also chosen the one really useful example that was NEVER possible.
    :lol:

    You COULD NOT BOOT a Mac from the iPod in drive mode, unless you actually formatted the whole thing and copied the entire installation disk onto it as a bootable drive.
    Which meant that you couldn't use it as an iPod, and it was exactly the same thing as a regular external drive, except quite a bit more expensive.

    Also, that was before the days of $10 USB sticks, which are now ubiquitous.

    It's simply an irrelevant function, no matter how much you want to make up shit to make Apple look bad.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post


    So, apart from the fact that you were wrong on being able to drag stuff onto the iPod and play it there, you've also chosen the one really useful example that was NEVER possible.
    :lol:
    You COULD NOT BOOT a Mac from the iPod in drive mode, unless you actually formatted the whole thing and copied the entire installation disk onto it as a bootable drive.
    Which meant that you couldn't use it as an iPod, and it was exactly the same thing as a regular external drive, except quite a bit more expensive.
    Also, that was before the days of $10 USB sticks, which are now ubiquitous.
    It's simply an irrelevant function, no matter how much you want to make up shit to make Apple look bad.

    Do you find it easier to reverse this problem, now let's be realistic now... Let say you are a new user.... by the time you find out "Oh, I want to manage my music manually" and then you find out that your music is there, but in scrambled folders and file names, tell me, how is this gonna help you if your computer crashes and your lose your data... try restoring scrambled media from the iPod... oh wait, it gets better!!... WAIT, you can only sync to one machine??? GTFO If Apple was so "for the people" why would you need to JailBreak an iDevice? So does Apple look bad?.... hmmm; I apologize, I didn't know you are blind.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    Apple, looks like the fruit is getting older every day.... reminds me of perishables


    Heheh.

    The only thing getting old is your bullshit.

    Begone, testudo!

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    Do you find it easier to reverse this problem, now let's be realistic now... Let say you are a new user.... by the time you find out "Oh, I want to manage my music manually" and then you find out that your music is there, but in scrambled folders and file names, tell me, how is this gonna help you if your computer crashes and your lose your data... try restoring scrambled media from the iPod... oh wait, it gets better!!... WAIT, you can only sync to one machine??? GTFO If Apple was so "for the people" why would you need to JailBreak an iDevice? So does Apple look bad?.... hmmm; I apologize, I didn't know you are blind.


    "blahblahbber" really is an excellent nick.

    Completely inane and clueless random rambling.

    Spontaneous moving of goalposts, with no acknowledgement that your previous point just collapsed because you MADE UP YOUR SUPPORTING EXAMPLES.

    Enjoy your evening.

    Preferably, somewhere else.



    Btw: no jailbreak is needed to get songs off an iPod - there have been dozens of free tools available for years. Apple never made any effort to block them. They just didn't build in the functionality. I have been using iPods and iPhones since may 2002. I've never needed to jailbreak one, for any reason.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    so you are aware that you cannot sync two or more machines? Thanks for not following up with any answers... To avoid it means all the news. Nothing about scrambled data after a sync?.... Guess you have not a clue. My suggestion?... Get one...

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