New iPhone patents, object identification and more

Apple has filed new patents today for its iPhone. Some of the items in the new patents include real world object identification, face detection and recognition, text messaging filtering, smart text messages and voice changer.

The patents filed today may not be seen for awhile, possibly in the next 4.0 upgrade or in the next iPhone, something we could see next June or July, if the pattern of iPhone releases stay true.

Real world object identification will let users take video or snap shots of places around the world, for example The Pentagon, and then the phone would check a database of similar photos and give detailed information about the landmark. The technology may also check RFID tags and barcodes, almost like Microsoft's Tag, but without the specialized tags. The iPhone can already read Microsoft Tag through an application.

Face detection and recognition could match up tags already stored on the iPhone's photo gallery and match it up with that person when pointing the camera at somebody. The face detection would work very similar to that of the technology already found in most digital cameras that tracks individual faces for a clear image.

The smart text messaging will possibly include two new features like text messaging filters, blocking out swear words, correcting spelling, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary depending on the users age and grade level. The smart text message interface would resend messages that could not be sent earlier, checking the status of a message and resending it again at a later time to cut down on missed messages.

Last on the patent is the voice output on your iPhone, allowing users to customize voices for eBooks and other applications like turn-by-turn GPS. The patent shows a list of voice change options from the basic male or female voice, also including celebrity voices using different accents, emotions using your own voice, if you wish to let the iPhone read an eBook to your children, and even download a voice.

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Real world object identification will let users take video or snap shots of places around the world, for example The Pentagon, and then the phone would check a database of similar photos and give detailed information about the landmark.

How would they be able to patent this, when MS has not only patented this, but even showed a working prototype 1-2 years ago at CES or whatever.

Wait.. is apple copying MS... unpossible

I've had text message filtering in my phone for the last 2 years... And I doubt they get the facial recognition thing passed as well, the phone is too much like a computer and everyone and their dog has a patent on facial recognition... And as for the real world object identification, yeah TinEye has been doing that for some time as well... Them patenting all of this crap is just a publicity stunt, they have their actual implementations protected. I bet they patented the copy and paste function.

They will get the patets on their track record, by calling it iRecognition etc, but it is in relation to how they have implemented the tech. for example, if they use a similar tech to google tags, they would not get the patent awarded.

Looking at the features that these would apply towards - they seem 100% software - hope these are in a software release not a hardware release.

It seems a lot of people here don't understand how patents work. They aren't patenting the idea of these features, but their implementation of the feature.

roadwarrior said,
It seems a lot of people here don't understand how patents work. They aren't patenting the idea of these features, but their implementation of the feature.


Exactly.

Another example: using that thinking, if someone applied for a patent to "reduce the size of files by applying compression," we'd be stuck with only one format instead of dozens and dozens of compression algorithms, which at the end of the day do one common task: reduce the size of files. Restricting a specific implementation to a patent holder allows others to find sneaky ways to get around it, but still implement a similar result: see the recent story about the FAT patent.

At the end of the day customers really don't care how it's done, they just want the end result. If you think you can find an easier and more effective way to get the task done, by all means go ahead and claim the implementation for yourself... if you've done the hard work.

Yes, just the implementation, no more, no less. Many of these things involve implementation with the lack of buttons and a touch screen; which so many people loathe anyway. I really don't see anyone even trying to mimmick the implementation anyway.

roadwarrior said,
It seems a lot of people here don't understand how patents work. They aren't patenting the idea of these features, but their implementation of the feature.

You don't think that as soon as something else has "object identification" Apple won't try and sue them for patent violation?

Beastage said,
I don't get it... all those things are already around us, how can Apple patent them?

its not the principle that they patent as much as the tech behind it ( they way they do it) afaik

Um.. doesn't Microsoft already have real-world object identification? They've showed it in Microsoft Surface for years. Apple needs to stop trying to patent everything. Next they're going to patent "Sentient Life aware of its surroundings" (Penny Arcade!)