Apple Patents Reveal Object-Face Detection, Smart Messaging, Voice Modulcation might be coming to iPhone

iPhone Patents

Folks at Unwired News have reported some of the Apple's iPhone patents that have surfaced this week.

These Apple patents give us a glimpse of what they are planning and could probably include in its next iPhone Operating System. We found some of the Apple patents very interesting and hence, we decided to cover them in this article.

1. Object Identification: Systems and methods for identifying objects and providing information related to identified objects.

Filed on: June, 17, 2008

This patent application describes a method in which the mobile device will be capable of identifying and provide additional information of any object that the mobile device is focused on. The user could make use of the camera, an RFID reader or an IR image capturing device.

Usage:

  • The user can use a portable electronic device (iPhone) to listen to an audio tour that may provide recorded information about pieces of art.
  • The user may be in an art museum looking at a piece of art and might use the camera in the device (iPhone) to take a picture of the art. The device will then provide the user with detailed information about the piece of art captured in the camera.

iPhone Patents

2. Face Recognition: Personal computing device control using face detection and recognition.

Filed on: March 6, 2008.

This patent application talks about the ability to control a personal computing device based on user face detection and recognition techniques. The device will be able to associate one or more faces with the authorized user of the device.

Usage:

  • One common issue found with a device (iPhone) with active screen saver is that it activates the screen saver based on a timer. This gets annoying especially when you are watching a movie or when you are passive to the device. This patent talks about adding the ability using which the device will be able to recognize human presence and hence, not activate the screen saver or such options.
  • This method can also be used to recognize faces and thus determining the level of access associated with the user. This could be used to deny or allow access to certain features of the device.

iPhone Patents

3. Text Message Filter: Text-based communication control for personal communication device.

Filed on: January 3, 2008

This patent application will be another parental control application, which could be used to block certain words and report the usage back to the administrator. This can also be used as an instruction tool where-in the usage of certain words, langauges are made essential.

Usage:

  • Parents can block swear words from appearing in a text message. The objectionable words and sentences can either be replaced by special characters or completely  omitted.
  • Instructors or teachers can ensure that certain words always form part of the message. They can also set the language in which the end user should communicate, thus, improving his or her language skills.

iPhone Patents

4. Multiple Recepients: Multiple Recipient Messaging Service for Mobile Device.

Filed On: january, 6, 2008

The messaging application provides a user interface that allows the user to resend the message to those recipients who did not receive the message or to cancel the message. In one implementation, the state of input text composed for failed messages is retained so that the user does not have to retype the entire message before the message is retransmitted.

Usage:

  • Messaging services may become unavailable or fail for a variety of reasons. If a failure occurs, then a user may have to resend a message from his mobile device that was not delivered to the intended recipients. This can result in some recipients receiving duplicate messages, which can confuse those recipients. Those recipients may respond to the duplicate messages with additional messages, which can add to the confusion caused by the duplicate transmissions. This patent is looking at ways to handle such situations.

iPhone Patents

5. Unread Message Alert: Systems, methods and apparatus for providing unread message alerts.

Filed on: January, 3, 2008

This patent application talks about the feature wherein the device (iPhone) alerts the user of an unread message while the users are going to send some communication to another party. This alert mechanism ensures that the user is made aware of an unread message (email, sms, mms etc) on the mobile device.

Usage:

  • The user may be unaware of some unread messages and might e-mail someone with a question, who might have already answered that question in one of the unviewed communications.
  • Such instances could happen across E-mails, SMS, MMS, Voice Memo etc. Due to the sheer quantity of the incoming message, the user might lose track of some messages. This application includes all these messaging types and also alerts the user of any related unread message from a person as seen in the screenshot below.

iPhone Patents

6. Audio Modulation: Methods and apparatus for altering audio output signals.

Filed On: April 2, 2008.

This patent talks about the ability to change an audio file so that the recorded track sounds as if a different person has recorded it. This could mean altering the original frequency of an audio file to a second frequency and as a result changing the voice in the recorded audio.

Usage:

  • Currently, while playing back an audio book, the voice of the narrator cannot be changed into a different voice. This application will allow the user to change the voice of the narrator and use different narrator voices based on the characters in the book. As an example, a mother might wish to change the narrator's voice in a pre-recorded audio book to her own voice, so that her child can listen to the audio book in the mother's voice.

iPhone Patents

Well, these are just some of the interesting patents that Apple has been working on for more than a year. It is important to note here that Apple like so many other companies,
patents ideas and so these features/patents might never see the light of the day.

Let us know if you think these patents carry real life utility or not in our comment section below.

[via Unwired]