Apple’s New Text-to-Voice Patent Bypasses GSM Protocols
On July 26, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple’s patent application titled Multimedia data transfer for a personal communication device . Apple’s patent relates to multimedia devices. More specifically, the invention describes a system for providing multimedia data to a mobile personal communication device such as a cell phone, walkie talkie and so forth. The unique aspect of this patent however, rests with technologies and methodologies that could translate text messages into voice messages while in transit to other devices without using traditional Short Message protocols as defined in GSM. This arrangement is particularly well suited for people having visual problems or in those situations where viewing the data on a small display screen (typical of most personal communication devices) is problematic.
It’s All in the Voice Channel
With the rapid deployment, proliferation, and technical advancement of mobile personal communication devices, such as cell phones, a user of these devices is presented with any number of ways to communicate with another user. For example, a user can send type a text message using, for example, Short Message Service-Point to Point (SMS-PP) protocol as defined in GSM recommendation 03.40 where messages are sent via a store-and forward mechanism to a Short Message Service Center (SMSC), which will attempt to send the message to the recipient and possibly retry if the user is not reachable at a given moment. Therefore, SMS-PP requires the use of a backend server to provide the necessary support for transmission of data between sender and receiver.
The invention, however, provides a mechanism whereby data is passed between a sender and receiver unit by way of voice channel only bypassing use of the data channel used in conventional arrangements. In this way, a sender can select that data which he/she desires to send to a receiver unit using by first converting the data into an appropriate vocal/voice format which is then forwarded to a receiver unit by way of the voice channel. Once received at the receiver unit, the vocalized data can be converted to an audio signal, which is then output by way of an audio output device (such as a speaker, earphone, etc.). This arrangement is particularly well suited for people having visual problems or in those situations where viewing the data on a small display screen (typical of most personal communication devices) is problematic. FIG. 4 shows a flowchart illustrating a particular process for transferring multimedia data over a voice channel in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
Vocalized Data, Text-to-Voice Mail Server
Apple’s patent FIG. 2 shows a system 200 having a cell phone 202 arranged to pass vocalized multimedia data to a receiver unit 204 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. It should be noted that the system 200 can be used by any number of cell phones or other compatible personal communication devices and is not therefore limited to only the particular embodiment shown in FIG. 2. Accordingly, when the cell phone 202 is actively displaying multimedia data 206 on a display screen 208, a user has the option of having the cell phone 202 vocalize the displayed data (which in this example is a phone number “650 555-1234″) in order to be passed by way of a voice channel 210 to the receiver unit 204 (in this case another cell phone) or any number of other cell phones or compatible personal communication devices.
Once received at the cell phone 204, processing of the vocalized data can be performed based upon a prompted user request or based upon a pre-selected protocol. For example, once received at the cell phone 204, the vocalized phone number can be passed to an audio output device 212 that (in the case of a speaker) generates an audible rendition of the vocalized phone number. In another case (shown in FIG. 3), the vocalized phone number is forwarded to a voice mail server 300 where the receiver records the vocalized phone number as a voice mail message for subsequent playback. It should be noted that in this case, the sender can pre-select this option for those cases where the sender wishes to generate a simple text message and instead of having the text message displayed on the receiver’s display screen; the vocalized text message is stored in the receiver’s voice mail server.
Apple lists the sole inventor of this patent as Anthony M. Fadell.
Todayâ€™s Other Apple Patent Filing: Apple’s second published patent filling today is titled Methods and systems for managing data. This noted continuation patent presents information concerning systems and methods for managing data, such as metadata or index databases.
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Written and researched by Neo.