On April 1, 2008 the US Patent & Trademark Office published eight of Appleâ€™s newly granted patents. The notables amongst these patents include one patent covering text-to-speech technology, another covering several docking stations that have yet to come to market and one covering Apple’s Magsafe adaptor technology.
Apple’s invention relates generally to human-language analysis, and more particularly to word orthography.
Pronunciation modeling is the process of assigning to each word in a given vocabulary a suitable sequence of phonemes (or phones). Good pronunciation modeling is critical to all speech-to-text and text-to-speech applications. In automatic speech recognition (ASR), the search module relies on phoneme sequences stored in the underlying (phonetic) dictionary to select appropriate acoustic models against which to score the input utterance. Similarly, in text-to-speech (TTS) synthesis, phonemic expansion is required for the selection of the proper TTS units from which to generate the desired waveform.
Apple’s patent summary states that “an orthographic anchor for each word in a dictionary is created in an orthographic space by mapping the words and a set of letter patterns characteristic of the words into the orthographic space. In one aspect the orthographic anchors are row or column vectors resulting from a decomposition of a matrix of feature vectors created by the mapping. In another aspect, a pronunciation for an input word is modeled based on a set of candidate phoneme strings that have pronunciations close to the input word in the orthographic space. Thus, the orthographic space captures global phoneme patterns in the dictionary and can be used for human-language applications, such as pronunciation modeling, instead of relying on the sequence of the letters in the words as in the letter-to-sound rule decision trees. The present invention is described in conjunction with systems, clients, servers, methods, and machine-readable media of varying scope.
In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the pronunciation modeling system 100 comprises two components: a training component 103 and a pronunciation component 105. When the pronunciation modeling system 100 is being trained, a training module 109 uses LSA to determine what letter strings are most characteristic of words, and to map all training words in a dictionary 107 onto all characteristic letter strings. The resulting vector space 111 contains a plurality of orthographic anchors, one for each “in-vocabulary” word, as determined automatically from the underlying dictionary 107. The orthographic anchors may be viewed as global letter patterns without letter sequence information, e.g., the sequence “cat” and the sequence “tac” will map to the same global pattern. The vector space 111 is referred to herein as “orthographic” instead of “semantic,” as is commonly used with LSA, because the vector space represents orthographic information for the in-vocabulary words. It will be appreciated that the dictionary 107 contains both the in-vocabulary words and their associated phonetic expansions in the form of phoneme strings.
Apple lists Jerome R. Bellegarda (Los Gatos, CA) as the sole inventor of this granted patent which was originally filed in September 2002.
Apple’s granted patent relates, in one embodiment, to a docking system. The docking system includes a portable electronic device capable of operating in multiple orientations including vertical and horizontal. The docking system also includes a docking station configured to mechanically accept and operatively interface with the portable electronic device in any of its multiple orientations including vertical and horizontal.
In another embodiment, Apple’s patent relates to a docking system which includes a portable electronic device having a front side and substantially planar back side opposite the front side and including a full screen display at the front side and a power transfer mechanism at the substantially planar back side. The full screen display is configured to display content in an upright manner whether the portable electronic device is used horizontally or vertically. The docking system also includes a docking platform having a substantially planar front side configured to support the substantially planar backside of the portable electronic device thereon, and including a power transfer mechanism at the substantially planar front side. The power transfer mechanism of the portable electronic device and power transfer mechanism of the docking platform are aligned along an axis and juxtaposed relative to one another when the portable electronic device is supported by the docking platform. The power transfer mechanism of the portable electronic device and the power transfer mechanism of the docking platform are rotationally symmetric about the axis such that they maintain communication with one another whether the portable electronic device is placed horizontally or vertically on the docking platform.
In another embodiment, Apple’s patent relates to a docking station which includes a platform that allows a substantially planar portable electronic device to be docked in multiple orientations about an axis. The docking station also includes an interface mechanism located at the platform and configured to interface with a corresponding interface mechanism of the portable electronic device when the portable electronic device is docked to the platform in any of its multiple orientations.
In another embodiment, Apple’s patent relates to a docking station which includes a substantially planar platform for receiving a substantially planar portable electronic device thereon. The substantially planar platform receives the portable electronic device in a plurality of orientations about an axis. The plurality of orientations includes at least a horizontal orientation and a vertical orientation. The docking station also includes an interface mechanism disposed in the substantially planar platform and having a center located at the axis. The interface mechanism communicates with a corresponding interface mechanism disposed in the substantially planar portable electronic device when the substantially planar portable electronic device is placed on the substantially planar platform in any of the plurality of orientations. The docking station further includes one or more alignment features for aligning a center of the corresponding interface mechanism of the substantially planar portable electronic device with the axis when the substantially planar portable electronic device is placed on the substantially planar platform in any of the plurality of orientations.
In another embodiment, Apple’s patent relates to a portable electronic device configured to operate in multiple orientations including horizontal and vertical orientations. The portable electronic device displays content in an upright manner in both the horizontal and vertical orientations. The portable electronic device has a substantially planar back side for placement on a planar front side of a docking platform in each of its multiple orientations. The portable electronic device includes an interface mechanism located at the back side of the portable electronic device and configured to interface with a corresponding interface mechanism located at the front side of the docking platform when the portable electronic device is placed on the docking platform in any of its multiple orientations.
Apple lists Steve Hotelling (San Jose, CA) and Gus Pabon (Cupertino, CA) as the inventors of this granted patent which was originally filed in August 2005.
This granted patent of Apple’s covers their Magsafe power adapter technology. Apple’s abstract states that “an electrical plug and receptacle relying on magnetic force from an electromagnet 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 of the plug or receptacle can be a magnet or ferromagnetic material. The magnetic element on the other of the plug or receptacle is an electromagnet. When the plug and receptacle are brought into proximity, the magnetic attraction between the electromagnet magnet and its complement, whether another magnet or a ferromagnetic material, maintains the contacts in an electrically conductive relationship. ”
Apple’s patent FIGS. 13A and 13B illustrate embodiments of magnetic connectors according to certain teachings of the present disclosure having electromagnets.
Apple lists DiFonzo; John C. (Emerald Hills, CA), Andre; Bartley K. (Menlo Park, CA), Lim; Kanye (Sunnyvale, CA), Rohrbach; Matthew Dean (San Francisco, CA), Doutt; Mark Edward (San Jose, CA), Gery; Jean-Marc (Los Angeles, CA) as the inventors of this granted patent which was originally filed in September 2005.
Apple’s patent relates broadly to devices in communication over a network. Specifically, the present invention relates to data flow management between devices transmitting and receiving data at different transmission rates. More specifically, the present invention relates to controlling data flow through a buffer by monitoring the buffer and adjusting data transmission based on buffer conditions.
Apple lists Agnoli; Giovanni M. (San Mateo, CA), Yanowitz; Andrew (Ben Lomond, CA), Abt; John O. (Grass Valley, CA), Bowman; Samuel R. (Colfax, CA), Delwiche; James A. (Grass Valley, CA) and Dillon; Jeffrey C. (Auburn, CA) as the inventors of this granted patent which was originally filed in December 2003.
Apple was also granted several additional patents including System and method for providing dynamic configuration ROM using double image buffers, Reviewing and changing the outcome of a digital signal processing operation, Method and apparatus for border node behavior on a full-duplex bus and one titled Method and apparatus for detecting free fall which was basically covered in this 2007 patent report on the same subject matter.
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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