On Christmas Morning, the US Patent & Trademark Office published seven of Apple’s newly granted patents which were respectfully titled as follows: Convergence-Enabled DVD and Web System, Magnetic connector for electronic device, Method and apparatus for assigning word prominence to new or previous information in speech synthesis, Color correction of digital video images using a programmable graphics processing unit, Method and Apparatus for Accelerated Scrolling, Computer enclosure and Method and apparatus to accelerate scrolling for buffered windows .
Patent: Convergence-Enabled DVD and Web System
Apple’s first granted patent is directed to interactive multimedia systems. More particularly, the invention is directed to DVD systems which are able to selectively control the processing of content from the World Wide Web and the like, and to web-based systems which are able to selectively access DVD systems and the like. Apple’s patent stems from their acquisition of Spruce Technologies, winner of the both the Hyper and Academy Awards.
Apple’s Abstract: A system integrates a DVD system and a WWW web browser. Universal Resource Locator (URL) information corresponding to sites accessible by the browser are stored in fields within the DVD data. When a user actuates a DVD element that has a corresponding URL, the web browser displays information from that site. When the user actuates an HTML menu or other browser-implemented feature, the DVD system accesses a portion of the DVD data specified in the menu. This arrangement provides for two-way communication, i.e., HTML in the browser is able to control DVD content and vice-versa. Having the WWW information embedded in the DVD brings a number of benefits, the foremost of which is the ability to write a “one size fits all” template web page that can interrogate the DVD for URL information and present WWW content corresponding to the URL synchronized with the DVD information.
Apple’s patent FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an integrated DVD and web browser system according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention. In patent FIG. 2 we see the original Spruce DVD example screen showing DVD and WWW playback according to the preferred embodiment.
Fergal John Mohan (Sunnyvale, CA) and Rainer Brodersen (Santa Clara, CA) as the inventors of this patent which was originally filed in April of 2000.
Patent: Magnetic connector for electronic device
Apple’s second granted patent generally relates to their notebook feature known as MagSafe. Apple’s patent FIG. 13A below illustrates an embodiment of a magnetic connector according to certain teachings of the present disclosure having electromagnets.
Apple’s Abstract: An electrical plug and receptacle relying on magnetic force to maintain contact are disclosed. The plug and receptacle can be used as part of a power adapter for connecting an electronic device, such as a laptop computer, to a power supply. The plug includes electrical contacts, which are preferably biased toward corresponding contacts on the receptacle. The plug and receptacle each have a magnetic element. The magnetic element on one or both of the plug and receptacle can be a magnet, which is preferably a permanent rare earth magnet although electromagnets may also be used. The magnetic element on the plug or receptacle that does not include a magnet is composed of ferromagnetic material. When the plug and receptacle are brought into proximity, the magnetic attraction between the magnet and its complement (whether another magnet or a ferromagnetic material) maintains the contacts in an electrically conductive relationship.
Apple lists Matthew Dean Rohrbach (San Francisco, CA), Mark Edward Doutt (San Jose, CA), Bartley K. Andre (Menlo Park, CA), Kanye Lim (Sunnyvale, CA), John C. DiFonzo (Emerald Hills, CA) and Jean-Marc Gery (Los Angeles, CA) as the inventors of this patent which was originally filed in September 2005.
Patent: Method and apparatus for assigning word prominence to new or previous information in speech synthesis
Apple’s third granted patent generally relates to speech synthesis systems. More particularly, this invention relates to generating variations in synthesized speech to produce speech that sounds more natural.
Apple’s Abstract: A method and apparatus is provided for generating speech that sounds more natural. In one embodiment, word prominence and latent semantic analysis are used to generate more natural sounding speech. A method for generating speech that sounds more natural may comprise generating synthesized speech having certain word prominence characteristics and applying a semantically-driven word prominence assignment model to specify word prominence consistent with the way humans assign word prominence. A speech representative of a current sentence is generated. The determination is made whether information in the current sentence is new or previously given in accordance with a semantic relationship between the current sentence and a number of preceding sentences. A word prominence is assigned to a word in the current sentence in accordance with the information determination.
Apple’s noted patent FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating one embodiment of the word prominence specification system.
Apple lists Jerome R. Bellegarda (Los Gatos, CA) and Kim E. A. Silverman (Mountain View, CA) as the inventors of this patent which was originally filed May 2003.
Patent: Color correction of digital video images using a programmable graphics processing unit
Apple’s fourth granted patent generally relates to computer display technology and, more particularly, to the application of visual effects using a programmable graphics processing unit during frame-buffer composition in a computer system. The application referred to in this patent is Apple’s QuickTime.
Apple’s Summary: A system according to the present invention utilizes the processing capabilities of the graphics processing unit (GPU) in the graphics controller. Each frame of each video stream or track is decoded into a buffer and a color profile indicating parameters of the color space of the video source is associated with the buffer. After all of the streams have been decoded, the compositor uses the color profile to convert each buffer to a defined working color space from the source color space. This conversion and rendering of the buffer is performed using the fragment processing capabilities of the GPU. After any other desired operations, the compositor instructs the GPU to convert the buffer to the final color space of the display device and the frame is rendered to the frame buffer for final display. Each of these operations is done in real time for each frame of the video. Because each stream or frame is properly color converted, the final displayed image will be the uniformly colored for each video source and each display.
Apple’s patent FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary OS X software environment including QuickTime. In patent FIG. 4 above, Apple illustrates a flowchart of operation consisting of video software according to the present invention. Apple’s patent also covers HDTV profiles of video cameras and cable televisions.
Apple lists Sean Matthew Gies (San Jose, CA), James Batson (Saratoga, CA) and Tim Cherna (Palo Alto, CA) as the inventors of this patent which was originally files in April 2005.
Patent: Method and Apparatus for Accelerated Scrolling
Apple’s fifth granted patent generally relates to their iPod scroll wheel. The note illustrations below covers the scroll wheel on an iPod and integrated into a possible future keyboard.
Apple’s Abstract: Improved approaches for users to with graphical user interfaces of computing devices are disclosed. A rotational user action supplied by a user via a user input device can provide accelerated scrolling. The accelerated nature of the scrolling enables users to scroll or traverse a lengthy data set (e.g., list of items) faster and with greater ease. The amount of acceleration provided can be performed in successive stages, and/or performed based on the speed of the rotational user action. In one embodiment, the rotational user action is transformed into linear action with respect to a graphical user interface. The resulting acceleration effect causes the linear action to be enhanced such that a lengthy data set is able to be rapidly traversed.
Apple lists Robert W. Tsuk (Cupertino, CA), Jeffrey L. Robbin (Los Altos, CA) as the inventors of this patent which was originally files in September 2002.
Other Granted Patents this Week
Two additional granted patents were published on Christmas day which were titled Computer enclosure and Method and apparatus to accelerate scrolling for buffered windows .
NOTICE: MacNN presents only a brief summary of patents with associated graphic(s) for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application and/or grant is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent applications and/or grants should be read in its entirety for further details.
Written and researched by Neo.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.