On March 13, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two of Apple’s patent applications pertaining to Cover Flow being used on an iPod classic and iPhone. The patent illustrates Apple’s calendar, address book, iPhoto and other applications being accessed on an iPod-like device in varying ways. Some methods include Apple’s touch screen technology on a classic iPod as well as using both a click wheel and/or touch pad. One of the 3D effects presented in the patent is rather cool. In light of the Microsoft patent that I presented yesterday, the timing of Apple’s updated Cover Flow patent for portables is more interesting than ever.
Apple’s patent figures 1 and 2 shown here clearly demonstrate that Coverflow will be coming to the Classic iPod with or without a click wheel.
Apple lists Thomas Dowdy (Sunnyvale, CA) , Heller; David Heller (San Jose, CA), Anne Jones (Emerald Hills, CA) and others on these patents.
Apple’s patent FIGS. 12A and 12B illustrated below, shows an image based browser 140 when the portable electronic device is in a phone or communication mode. As shown, the images 142 of the image based browser 140 are pictures that represent individuals whose contact information is stored in an address book. The user is thus able traverse through pictures rather than lists to find the desired individual who they wish to contact. If the user doesn’t have a picture for the individual then they can assign some other image to the individual. Alternatively or additionally, text may be included in the image. For example, the text may be the individual’s name. In one embodiment, when the user selects the image 142 at the primary position, then contact information 144 associated with the image 142 is opened. The contact information 144 may be associated with a new window, or alternatively it may be presented at the primary position as shown in FIG. 12B. The contact information 144 may include selectable data such as email and/or various phone numbers 146. The data may also include text messaging. When email is selected then a mail window is opened with the email address already entered. When a phone number is selected, then the portable electronic device initiates a call to that number. As should be appreciated, each individual may have a plurality of email addresses and phone numbers. Alternatively or additionally, when the user selects the image 142 at the primary position, a default phone number associated with the image may be used to immediately initiate a phone call. The default may depend on mode. For example, if in email mode then default can be email; if phone is opened then default can be phone.
Apple’s patent FIG. 13 shows an image based browser 150 associated with applications. As shown, the images 152 are icons that represent applications that can be launched on the electronic device. The user is thus able traverse through icons rather than lists to find the desired application they wish to open. In one embodiment, when the user selects the icon 152 at the primary position, the application is launched. By way of example, the application may be a photo management program, a music management program, a video management program, word processing program, spreadsheet program, drawing program, and the like.
Apple’s patent FIG. 15 shows an image based browser 170 associated with a photo viewing application. As shown, the images 172 are photos that are managed by a photo management application. The photos 172 may be photos that have been downloaded to a portable electronic device and/or photos that have been taken with the portable electronic device. When selected, the photo 172 may be presented in a full view within the display rather than a small thumbnail.
Apple’s patent FIGS. 14A-14D below show an image based browser 160 associated with a date book or calendar. In this embodiment, the image based browser 160 includes hierarchal browsers 161, 162, 163 and 164. FIG. 14A shows the first of the hierarchal browsers 161. In this first browser 161, the images 165 are associated with months of the year. The images 165 may include picture relating to the months and/or text that identifies the months. For example, the image for February may include a red heart representing Valentine’s Day and a “February” identifier. Alternatively or additionally, pictures of people whose birthdays are in each month may be displayed. A single picture may be assigned or alternatively the multiple pictures of people with birthdays in the month may be sequentially displayed (cycled through). This data may be pulled from an address book that includes birthdays and pictures.
As shown in FIG. 14B, when the user selects a particular month, the second of the hierarchal browsers 162 is opened. In the second browser 162, the images 166 are associated with days of the month. The images 166 may include picture relating to the days and/or text that identifies the days. For example, a red heart representing Valentine’s Day and a “February” identifier may be used for the 14.sup.th of February. Alternatively or additionally, pictures of people whose birthdays are on a particular day may be displayed. As shown in FIG. 14C, when the user selects a particular day, the third of the hierarchal browsers 163 is opened. In the third browser 163, the images 167 are associated with hours in the day. As shown in FIG. 14D, when the user selects a particular hour, a data entry window 164 is opened that allows the user to enter text associated with the selected hour/day/month. For example, the window 164 may include one or more data entry boxes 168. The user can therefore schedule events. Once entered, the data is retained for future processing.
Apple’s patent FIGS 19A-19C shown below illustrate an electronic device with a touch screen display. In one embodiment, as shown in FIG. 19A, a substantially horizontal swipe 214 across the touch screen display or a substantially horizontal slide 214 along the surface of the touch screen display creates the navigational input. In one implementation of this embodiment, the substantially horizontal swipe/slide 214 can be made anywhere within the touch sensing area of the touch screen. In another implementation of this embodiment, the substantially horizontal swipe/slide 214 has to be made in a particular area of the touch sensing area of the touch screen as for example, in the area below an image based browser 212 or alternatively over the images of the image based browser 212.
FIGS. 19D and 19E illustrate a portable electronic device with a touch pad. FIG. 19D includes a circular touch pad while FIG. 19E includes square or rectangular touch pad. In one embodiment, a substantially horizontal swipe/slide 214 across the touch pad creates the navigational input (or vertical). In another embodiment, an arc or rotational slide 216 about the touch pad creates the navigational input.
FIG. 19F illustrates a portable electronic device with a touch sensitive housing. The touch sensitive housing is located in the bezel region that surrounds the edges of the display. As such, the bezel region may include a horizontal and vertical sensing component below or on the sides of the display. In the illustrated embodiment, a substantially horizontal swipe/slide 214 on the lower bezel underneath the image based browser 212 creates the navigational input 210. In addition, in cases where the housing is more of an extended surface rather than an edge, navigation inputs 210 can be created similarly to that described in context of the touch screen and touch pads shown in FIGS. 19A-19E.
FIGS. 19G and 19H illustrate a portable electronic device with a touch screen. In this embodiment, the display is configured to display virtual navigation elements or user interface elements including for example a virtual touch region similar to FIG. 19D or 19E (as shown in FIG. 19G) and/or a virtual mechanism such as a dial or slider or scroll bar (as shown in FIG. 19H). In one embodiment, a substantially horizontal swipe/slide 214 across the virtual mechanism creates the navigational input. In another embodiment, an arc or rotational slide 216 about the virtual mechanism creates the navigational input.
Touch Screen Flipping
FIGS. 26A-26E illustrate a flipping sequence for use in the embodiment mentioned above. As shown in FIG. 26A, the user places their finger over the image to be flipped (e.g., primary image). As shown in 26B-26D, the user slides their finger in a vertical direction. The slide can be either up or down.
As shown in FIG. 26B, the edge of the image at the beginning of the slide follows the finger as it moves vertically. In this case, the finger is slid downward and thus the top edge of the element follows the finger. Furthermore, a first portion of the element above a horizontal axis is configured to enlarge while a second portion of the element below the horizontal axis configured to shrink. In addition, the element is configured to be skewed during motion to make it appears as if the first portion is being brought to the foreground and the second portion is being moved to the background. For example, the top edge of the first portion is skewed horizontally outward from the horizontal axis while the bottom edge of the bottom portion is skewed horizontally inward from the horizontal axis.
As shown in FIG. 26C, this effect continues until the top and bottom edges of the image are aligned with the horizontal axis. The image either disappears or a small line segment is displayed.
Miscellaneous Patent Figures
Other Apple iPod Related Patents Published Today
Other Apple iPod related patents were listed today and they include Integration of Visual Content Related to Media Playback into Non-Media-Playback Processing and Portable electronic device with local search capabilities
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.
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