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MacRumors
Apr 20, 2004, 04:07 AM
According to one user supplied report, Apple has reportedly filed for a patent for a rotating display, allowing both vertical and horizontal alignments from a single screen. From the summary:

This invention relates generally to a processor-controlled system such as a computer system and, more particularly, but not exclusively, to an electrical arrangement in the system for managing video information for rotating computer display images.

The patent description reportedly appeared on LexisNexus' (http://www.lexisnexis.com/) service dated March 23, 2004, but does not appear to be locatable in the US Patent Office site (http://www.uspto.gov/) at the moment.

While pivoting displays have been marketed in the past (Radius Pivot (http://www.gifford.co.uk/~coredump/pivot.htm)), Apple has never offered one of their own.

Readers are cautioned, however, that this particular patent, however, may simply represent Newton technology patents finally becoming processed. The patent summary notes that the rotation feature would be "especially advantageous for pen-based and hand-held computers". Apple's Newton 2x00 handheld computer did allow for this same portrait and landscape rotation.

arn
Apr 20, 2004, 04:08 AM
Patent Summary:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to a processor-controlled system such as a computer system and, more particularly, but not exclusively, to an electrical arrangement in the system for managing video information for rotating computer display images.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Among the many image resolutions for computer displays in the market today, a common resolution for computer displays is 640*480. Such resolution for a display refers to a display having an overall screen measuring 640 pixels wide by 480 lines high. In fact, any displays having this horizontal format (i.e., its width being greater than its height) would provide ease and convenience for certain computer operations including showing TV images, operating drawing programs and performing spreadsheet calculations. Nevertheless, displays with a vertical format (i.e., its height being greater than its width) are better suited for certain other operations such as word processing, program coding and Internet access. One may suggest a computer display having a square viewing area (i.e., equal height and width) for satisfying both requirements, but practically speaking, the most common computer displays today are rectangular, and that forces an user to choose either a horizontally or a vertically formatted display at the time of purchase.

It would be ideal if a display device could rotate between the horizontal format and the vertical format depending on user needs and preference. While this rotation feature is useful for operating numerous computer applications, it is especially advantageous for pen-based and hand-held computers where the user's ability to comfortably operate the computer is greatly affected by the orientation and position in which the computer is held.

One known implementation discloses a computer system having a display device which can be physically rotated along its sides 90 degrees in either of two directions. Such a system can then cause the display device to display its image contents correctly adjusted for the newly-rotated display orientation. Unfortunately, typical image orientation adjustments for the rotated display monitor have significant performance penalty associated with their necessary calculation-intensive axis transformations.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It would be desirable and therefore an object for the present invention to provide a method and apparatus for rotating computer display images 90 degrees on a display device with little or no transformation calculations. It is another object for the present invention to provide the image rotation for the display device in both clockwise and counter- clockwise directions to support both left-handed and right-handed users. Yet another object for the present invention is to implement such rotation feature without significant system performance penalty.

Additional objects and advantages of the present invention will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part, will be obvious from the description or may be learned by practice of the invention. To achieve the foregoing objects, and in accordance with the purpose of the invention as embodied and broadly described herein, briefly, there is provided an apparatus including a memory system containing an image frame buffer for an associated display device, this memory system being coupled to a CPU and also being coupled to the display device via its video display controller. The image frame buffer can be manipulated by the CPU and retrieved by the video display controller for use by the display device. One aspect of the invention discloses an implementation wherein the CPU addresses the image frame buffer in a manner advantageous for CPU manipulation and the video display controller addresses the same image frame buffer in another manner advantageous for frame buffer retrieval by the video display controller. Such retrieval includes image presentations on the display device in a vertical format as well as in a horizontal format depending on user selection. During image rotation, one preferred but not limiting aspect of the invention provides the memory system, under the control of the video display controller, physically storing the image frame buffer in memory locations which are different from the locations as addressed by the CPU. Although typical display image rotation can be accomplished entirely in software, another aspect of the present invention provides an implementation that is operable entirely in hardware.

The present invention also may take advantage of the fact that the image frame buffer in the memory system is typically defined as a series of bytes storing the image information for the first horizontal line of the display device, followed by a fixed gap of unused bytes, and followed by another series of bytes for the next horizontal line of the display device, then another gap of unused bytes, and so on. For a display device measuring h pixels wide, by v pixels high, this makes an image frame buffer of v lines, each line containing the number of bytes needed to store the image data for h pixels plus a fixed number of unused gap bytes. The image frame buffer implemented as described provides further advantages for image rotation, if two other conditions are met: 1. A "defined frame buffer" (which contains the portion of the frame buffer used for the actual display data) starts at a page boundary address where all the address bits needed to describe offsets within the defined frame buffer are 0 (for a 1 megabyte buffer, for example, this means the least significant 20 bits of the lowest defined buffer address should be 0, a condition met by an hexadecimal address ending in 00000); and 2. The sum of the number of image data bytes per display line plus the number of gap bytes per line is a power of 2 (such as 2 (10)=1024 bytes).

dobbin
Apr 20, 2004, 04:30 AM
That would be really nice on an iMac.............

alset
Apr 20, 2004, 04:31 AM
Arn, do you have extensive knowledge on the subject, or did you just do some research before posting the story?

Dan

sinbushar
Apr 20, 2004, 04:49 AM
so...what you're saying is that apple will release a G5 handheld device which can act as a cell phone, a 6 megapixel digital camera, a sight for your sniper, a graphing calculator, a portable dj station, and will also expand as a monitor with the ability to switch between portrait and landscape.....oh, and it may also have mp3 capabilities.. :rolleyes:

my REAL opinion: this means nothing...from what i've seen, its generally not the best idea to follow patent issues and what not...we just got updates...yesterday...so i really don't think anything else will be seen until mid/late july....and seriously, do we need anything else?...other than os 10.4, of course ;) ....

-adel

billyboy
Apr 20, 2004, 04:50 AM
How are we supposed to make informed decisions with such scant info? :)

Id just like Apple to patent a detachable swivelable screen for a Powerbook.

CrackedButter
Apr 20, 2004, 05:00 AM
It would be cool and extend the functionality of the iMac if you could twist the screen and either put it into a portrait view and then back again into landscape, what would also be nicer is if the rendering was done on the fly without any need to access the control panel. Just tilt the screen and the desktop modifies itself.

Anybody remember those water toys you could get where you tip it upside down and the coloured oils would flow from top to bottom in interesting ways? Then tip it the other way and the oil would do the same again.

Imagine if you could tip the iMac screen into one view and the desktop (being 'aqua' and all) would gently wash itself into the new view as effortlessly as fast user switching. Just in the same way you would rotate a bottle half full of liquid, it travels with the force of gravity and the direction of the bottless tilt. Another excuse for the quartz systems lovely existence.

Novels and pratical all in one.

I would do a photoshop of what i'm trying to describe but college awaits me now!

wordmunger
Apr 20, 2004, 05:15 AM
How can Apple apply for a patent for this? Those Radius Pivot monitors were around for years. How can Apple possibly claim to have invented it?

Ozi
Apr 20, 2004, 05:34 AM
I doubt they want to claim the invetion as their own; they just want to patent the way they will apply it to their computers.

arn
Apr 20, 2004, 05:36 AM
Arn, do you have extensive knowledge on the subject, or did you just do some research before posting the story?

Dan

er... the 2nd post is just the summary of the patent as submitted.

Not sure what you mean by "extensive knowledge" on the subject. ;)

arn

Nikko1965
Apr 20, 2004, 05:41 AM
I've got a Compaq TFT5000 monitor here in the office which supposedly allows all that pivoting mullarky. My PowerBook recognises it but doesn't support it which is a pity as it would save me getting Scroller's Wrist when looking at PDFs, CVs and portrait format photos (and not only on 'artistic' websites). So I don't see how this is something radically new. All they need do is add support where applicable.

fixyourthinking
Apr 20, 2004, 06:19 AM
I doubt this is a late Newton patent coming to fruition. I COULD see this as the full page display monitor though. This DID have a rotating image control panel, eventhough, the display itself did NOT rotate. It required a special nubus card and a SUN Micro like 13W3 connector instead of the standard Apple DB15 connection

The full page portrait display was used a lot in ad firms and at newspapers that used Macs.

I couldn't find a pic on Google - but I do believe the display itself was actually made for Apple by Radius and THEN LATER adopted by Radius. So it may actually be an Apple patent.

If any of you have seen the 20 in LCD Samsung rotating display - you'd know how really useful this could be.

Poff
Apr 20, 2004, 06:20 AM
That would be really nice on an iMac.............

Exactly what I was thinking! It would be rev-a-licious on the iMac. I'd use portrait-mode almost all the time, since most web-sites (like this one) would be better that way.

gekko513
Apr 20, 2004, 06:34 AM
It would be cool and extend the functionality of the iMac if you could twist the screen and either put it into a portrait view and then back again into landscape, what would also be nicer is if the rendering was done on the fly without any need to access the control panel. Just tilt the screen and the desktop modifies itself.

Anybody remember those water toys you could get where you tip it upside down and the coloured oils would flow from top to bottom in interesting ways? Then tip it the other way and the oil would do the same again.

Imagine if you could tip the iMac screen into one view and the desktop (being 'aqua' and all) would gently wash itself into the new view as effortlessly as fast user switching. Just in the same way you would rotate a bottle half full of liquid, it travels with the force of gravity and the direction of the bottless tilt. Another excuse for the quartz systems lovely existence.
I love the idea! :D It would be useful to many people at the same time as it would not degrade user experience for the ones who don't want/need it. As a bonus it would be another unique Mac feature.

If the functionality is included with a new G5 iMac, I think I might go for that instead of a G5 PowerMac.

CrackedButter
Apr 20, 2004, 06:40 AM
I love the idea! :D It would be useful to many people at the same time as it would not degrade user experience for the ones who don't want/need it. As a bonus it would be another unique Mac feature.

If the functionality is included with a new G5 iMac, I think I might go for that instead of a G5 PowerMac.

I have always thought this of the iMac when it first launched and I have always hoped Apple would do something like this, what other flatscreen could do it so easily, plus not only would it be a 'mac' attribute and a first but it would also be confined to the iMac, unless Cinema displays on their own could be rotated just as easily.

Hugin777
Apr 20, 2004, 07:12 AM
If any of you have seen the 20 in LCD Samsung rotating display - you'd know how really useful this could be.

I have a semi-old Samsung SyncMaster 150T (15") with a pivot-stand.

Portrait mode is really useful. But there are two negatives:

1. this particular screen has a really bad vertical viewing angle. When viewed from below, the image darkens. So when used in portrait mode each eye sees a slightly different picture ! Very annoying.

2. text smoothing (anti-aliasing) on (digitally connected) LCDs takes advantage of the way pixels are divided into three subpixels horisontally. That means that text can use three times normal horisontal resolution, which is really nice. When used in portrait mode this instead becomes three times the vertical resolution, which isn't as useful for text.

bensisko
Apr 20, 2004, 07:14 AM
Arn was right, this is an old patinet of Apple's. In fact, someone further up mentioned Compaq's display rotating, this technology has been licensed by MANY Tablet PC companies.

sinisterdesign
Apr 20, 2004, 07:46 AM
ok, i'm all for cool little gadgets, but this is not anything particularly novel or widely useful. i remember seeing my first portrait monitor YEARS ago on a Mac & thought it was the coolest thing. you could drag your cursor across the landscape monitor onto the portrait monitor & you had this "L" shaped desktop. but apart from the "wow" factor in the 80's and people working for a newspaper, i can't get too pumped about this if this really is a new patent.

i'm a designer & i design a ton of portrait-oriented ads, flyers, etc., but i can't name one program that i don't have a butt-load of menus on either side of my portrait oriented layout. so i tilt my 640x480 monitor, now what do i do w/ all my menus?

...would be nice for porn, though... ;^)

Maxx Power
Apr 20, 2004, 07:56 AM
I've had my eyes on one of these monitors for a long time now:
http://www.eyegonomic.com/page.dsp?page=131

they are the sweetest monitors i've seen, and the price in Canadian dollars at the canadian retailer is actually cheaper than the comparable apple monitors that can't adjust. Oh, and this goes sweeeet with an aluminum box like the G5 or the newer G5.5's soon hopefully.

Nny
Apr 20, 2004, 08:08 AM
what apple should do is work on a software solution to make OS X work with those Windows-only pivot monitors that are already out there.... heck, everyone makes them now, but I don't think any support Mac OS X. LaCie has a nice one, and I always liked their electronBlue CRTs. do they all use the same technology for informing the OS that it has pivoted and the OS needs to change resolution? if so, then support for these shouldn't be too hard (but what do i know, i'm not a software engineer).

cubist
Apr 20, 2004, 08:14 AM
The patent system is SO stupid. If it weren't for the greedy lawyer leeches there might be a sensible system. The whole edifice of incompetence and litigious theft ought to be abolished. Thankfully, I am not a lawyer. "Legal ethics" is the biggest oxymoron of all.

DGFan
Apr 20, 2004, 08:16 AM
Any technology that was sold as part of the Newton is now unpatentable. There is a one year statutory bar on getting a patent on an invention that is sold in the US (translated - you have one year from the date of first sale to apply for a patent).

Reading the abstract gives me the impression that this is old, though. Perhaps this is from an abandoned Apple patent application?

DGFan
Apr 20, 2004, 08:18 AM
The patent system is SO stupid. If it weren't for the greedy lawyer leeches there might be a sensible system. The whole edifice of incompetence and litigious theft ought to be abolished. Thankfully, I am not a lawyer. "Legal ethics" is the biggest oxymoron of all.

Speak not of that which you know not.

Jeff
IP law student
soon-to-be patent agent

ps. I forget, are personal attacks allowed in this forum or not?

fixyourthinking
Apr 20, 2004, 08:27 AM
what apple should do is work on a software solution to make OS X work with those Windows-only pivot monitors that are already out there.... heck, everyone makes them now, but I don't think any support Mac OS X. LaCie has a nice one, and I always liked their electronBlue CRTs. do they all use the same technology for informing the OS that it has pivoted and the OS needs to change resolution? if so, then support for these shouldn't be too hard (but what do i know, i'm not a software engineer).

As a first project for a new website I'm starting up called macsoso.com - I am trying to convince Portrait Displays Inc (Pivoting Software makers for OS8/9) to open source the code and let a company like CodeTek who makes Virtual Desktop to possibly produce such software to release for OS X.

To reply to the post about the Samsung 15" - the newer 20" LCD portrait display they offer is FAR advanced - it is the nicest display beyond Apple displays I have seen to date.

And the post that said it wouldn't be useful hasn't used a 20" rotating display. I would have to agree, the 15" 640x480 displays of the past were lackluster at best.

mainstreetmark
Apr 20, 2004, 08:27 AM
I've always kind of wanted to be able to pivot my actual windows. I frequently have large stacks of code windows open, and even exposé is kind of useless, since all small code windows look the same. If, however, I could cock some to one side, they'd remain partially visible when everything is stacked on top of each other, and I could jump around quicker.

I have, of course, feedbacked that idea to Apple, but I don't actually think there's anyone on the other end of that system. :) (Or, could it be that I'm not the genius I think I am)

(Ironically, I had to spell-check genius)

otter-boy
Apr 20, 2004, 08:32 AM
Among the many image resolutions for computer displays in the market today, a common resolution for computer displays is 640*480. Such resolution for a display refers to a display having an overall screen measuring 640 pixels wide by 480 lines high

Check out the resolution. It looks to be pretty old. Computer displays haven't used 640 x 480 in a while. Handhelds are only beginning to get resolutions like that, so you couldn't really say it is a common resolution for handhelds.

otter-boy
Apr 20, 2004, 08:37 AM
Any technology that was sold as part of the Newton is now unpatentable. There is a one year statutory bar on getting a patent on an invention that is sold in the US (translated - you have one year from the date of first sale to apply for a patent).


I'm pretty sure that the time limit is on filing for the patent, not obtaining it; otherwise, there would be a lot more technology in the public domain.

immac
Apr 20, 2004, 08:39 AM
ok, i'm all for cool little gadgets, but this is not anything particularly novel or widely useful. i remember seeing my first portrait monitor YEARS ago on a Mac & thought it was the coolest thing. you could drag your cursor across the landscape monitor onto the portrait monitor & you had this "L" shaped desktop. but apart from the "wow" factor in the 80's and people working for a newspaper, i can't get too pumped about this if this really is a new patent.

i'm a designer & i design a ton of portrait-oriented ads, flyers, etc., but i can't name one program that i don't have a butt-load of menus on either side of my portrait oriented layout. so i tilt my 640x480 monitor, now what do i do w/ all my menus?

...would be nice for porn, though... ;^)

"now what do i do w/ all my menus?"

You get one of the smaller, (17" maybe) cheaper, (much now) discontinued displays for your palettes and live large.

I'm one of those weird photographers that shoot more verticals than horizontals (cause I do mosty people) so this is something I've ranted about for years- And to eliminate scrolling on web pages (I'm thinking 23" at least )......priceless.j :D

DGFan
Apr 20, 2004, 08:48 AM
I'm pretty sure that the time limit is on filing for the patent, not obtaining it; otherwise, there would be a lot more technology in the public domain.

Yes. That's what I meant when I said "you have one year from the date of first sale to apply for a patent".

However, almost all patents are published at 18 months. And, even without publishing, most patents are received within 3-4 years of filing. So anything on sale earlier than 4-5 years ago is probably not going to be patented if it hasn't already been.

sinisterdesign
Apr 20, 2004, 08:51 AM
I've had my eyes on one of these monitors for a long time now:
http://www.eyegonomic.com/page.dsp?page=131


wow, those really ARE gorgeous displays. i love my 22" Cinema, but that aluminum frame would look really sweet on my brushed aluminum-topped desk.

Apple always raises the bar w/ their design (Ive was one of the best aquisitions they ever made), but companies catch on & catch up. it takes them a while, but there are some beautiful CPUs & monitors on the market now. i'm anxious to see how Apple can raise the bar over something as sleek & well designed as these eyegonomic monitors...

jgp
Apr 20, 2004, 09:33 AM
I have been waiting for years and years for this. It is a mystery why it has taken so long. An iMac with a rotating screen is a no brainer! I want a rotated 20 inch for my PowerMac.

rjwill246
Apr 20, 2004, 09:36 AM
How can Apple apply for a patent for this? Those Radius Pivot monitors were around for years. How can Apple possibly claim to have invented it?

There is absolutley no way to jump from the patent description to what you infer. The need to maintain pixel correct information for picture integrity with different "screen" orientations is what this is about. Getting the information displayed accurately on a widescreen Mac to a handheld device and as a bonus, the type of rotational screen that Radius had while ensuring that geometry and information capabilities are maintained is at the heart of this. How Radius did it and what Apple have applied for are not the same thing- at least Apple would hope that's the case and I am sure their patent attorneys have done their homework on this to ensure there is no patent violation. It's hard to imagine that Apple is unaware of the Radius monitor.

DGFan
Apr 20, 2004, 09:53 AM
It's hard to imagine that Apple is unaware of the Radius monitor.

Not only that, but if Apple is aware of it they have to bring it to the attention of the USPTO in an Information Disclosure Statement. If they do not the attorneys risk being barred from ever prosecuting another patent before the USPTO. No lawyer that I have ever met is willing to risk that.

This whole nonsense about unethical lawyers is based on bad NBC shows and the <1% of real lawyers you hear about in the news.

DesignBook
Apr 20, 2004, 10:00 AM
Am I the only one who thinks that the iMac's look as though they _should_ be able to rotate? I've seen people walk up to it and try to rotate the screen...

How hard can it be to work that into the current design? Basically just have a groove/nipple to prevent the screen from being slightly off in either direction, then with a little effort it just slides out of the groove and rotate 90 degrees... but knowing apple, you'd b e able to spin it 360 degrees THAT WOULD BE COOL!

You just need rotating cuff connectors and *boom* spin all you like!

Squire
Apr 20, 2004, 10:09 AM
To reply to the post about the Samsung 15" - the newer 20" LCD portrait display they offer is FAR advanced - it is the nicest display beyond Apple displays I have seen to date.

And the post that said it wouldn't be useful hasn't used a 20" rotating display. I would have to agree, the 15" 640x480 displays of the past were lackluster at best.

I drooled over that very display a few months ago and thought, That would be wicked in an iMac! (I have a 17" iMac.) However, based on my few minutes with it, the actual rotation mechanism is not perfect. Maybe Ive and the boys could work on it. (Doesn't Apple have a huge investment in Samsung's LCD division?) And I have to agree with the post above: the iMac screen does look like it can be rotated.

Squire

Bhennies
Apr 20, 2004, 10:28 AM
wow, those really ARE gorgeous displays. i love my 22" Cinema, but that aluminum frame would look really sweet on my brushed aluminum-topped desk.

Apple always raises the bar w/ their design (Ive was one of the best aquisitions they ever made), but companies catch on & catch up. it takes them a while, but there are some beautiful CPUs & monitors on the market now. i'm anxious to see how Apple can raise the bar over something as sleek & well designed as these eyegonomic monitors...I loved them too....the eyegonomics look far better than the apple displays...but I called today and lo and behold they are not recommended for graphics/ video or color critical work. Damn.

goof_ball
Apr 20, 2004, 10:35 AM
How can people rate this as positive? Not that it's negative....but so far is doesn't mean anything!

Anyways, a while back there was a company (I forget which) that came out with that laptop where the large screen folded in half, and swivled in together so they stacked making the laptop compact. Perhaps Apple is making something along this line.

tjwett
Apr 20, 2004, 11:01 AM
i have needed this feature badly for some time. i hope it happens.

Borg3of5
Apr 20, 2004, 11:04 AM
wow, those really ARE gorgeous displays. i love my 22" Cinema, but that aluminum frame would look really sweet on my brushed aluminum-topped desk.

Apple always raises the bar w/ their design (Ive was one of the best aquisitions they ever made), but companies catch on & catch up. it takes them a while, but there are some beautiful CPUs & monitors on the market now. i'm anxious to see how Apple can raise the bar over something as sleek & well designed as these eyegonomic monitors...

Those displays are absolutely fabulous! :-) If Apple doesn't get on the ball and contract Eyegonomic to design the next gen displays, I will strongly consider the Eyegonomic 24" display. It's beautiful!!!

HiRez
Apr 20, 2004, 11:15 AM
i'm a designer & i design a ton of portrait-oriented ads, flyers, etc., but i can't name one program that i don't have a butt-load of menus on either side of my portrait oriented layout. so i tilt my 640x480 monitor, now what do i do w/ all my menus?This would be great for Xcode, I've been thinking about that old Radium display when I use it. Generally you have everything in one window and no subpalettes that ened space on the side, and you want to see the maximum amount of vertical text (so you can see a whole function for example). I would love it if they brought this back. And figure out how to make it work on a PowerBook!

AngryAngel
Apr 20, 2004, 11:21 AM
Has no-one remembered that Apple had a rotating/portrait in 1989 with the Portrait Display?

iZac
Apr 20, 2004, 11:29 AM
My god angryangel, you read my mind, i was about to ask if anyone remembered a portrait display apple did years ago. I remember seeing it on this guys Mac museum (which i intend to create myself one day :P) i never fiddled with it though, so i never knew if it rotated or not. very cool idea though, if you want to work in protrait.

doesnt LaCie do a tft monitor on an articulated arm, i believe that twists in all manner of directions too?

narco
Apr 20, 2004, 11:29 AM
I remember when my old work first bought the Radius monitor -- I thought things couldn't get any more advanced than that. It felt too clunky though.

:confused: narco

iZac
Apr 20, 2004, 11:33 AM
found it:

LaCie rotating monitor (http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10074)

looks damn ugly though!

sorry if somone posted it before, i was too lazy to read the entire thread ;)

NB, like dobbin said, if this type of arm was implimented elegantly on an iMac, it would look amazing! It could finally have all the funtionality that those little iMacs had on the pixar produced ads (you see it twists slightly, in a way the iMac can't)

pixar ad 1 (http://www.apple.com/hardware/ads/newimac_superdrive_240.html)
pixar ad 2 (http://www.apple.com/hardware/ads/newimac_dance_320.html)

(also, if anyone knows what song that is on the adverts, id love to know!)

wdlove
Apr 20, 2004, 11:41 AM
I will reserve my judgment to see how Apple will actually use this patent. Having ergonomic products is always a good idea.

StudioGuy
Apr 20, 2004, 12:04 PM
My god angryangel, you read my mind, i was about to ask if anyone remembered a portrait display apple did years ago. I remember seeing it on this guys Mac museum (which i intend to create myself one day :P) i never fiddled with it though, so i never knew if it rotated or not. very cool idea though, if you want to work in protrait.

doesnt LaCie do a tft monitor on an articulated arm, i believe that twists in all manner of directions too?

I have on my Mac IIsi :) a portrait display (15", letter-size). In the day, it was great for looking at lots of music staffs together of a large group at once. However, I don't think it could be made to work in landscape mode like a Radius pivot, but maybe a software add-on did that in future models.

dongmin
Apr 20, 2004, 12:08 PM
"In fact, any displays having this horizontal format (i.e., its width being greater than its height) would provide ease and convenience for certain computer operations including showing TV images, operating drawing programs and performing spreadsheet calculations. Nevertheless, displays with a vertical format (i.e., its height being greater than its width) are better suited for certain other operations such as word processing, program coding and Internet access." Return on the Newton? The Apple tablet? The vPod?

I'm intrigued about the line "computer operations including showing TV images", especially in light of the fact that this patent seems geared for handhelds. As far as I know, the Newton never had this functionality, so it COULD be suggesting a future product. Perhaps an iBook-iPod hybrid with a 640x480 color touch screen running on a G3 variant. Yes, I know I'm reading a lot into it.

iZac
Apr 20, 2004, 12:13 PM
thanks studioguy :P

-hh
Apr 20, 2004, 12:21 PM
We had a Radius Pivot in our office many moons ago...probably circa 1990. Whatever Patent it had is probably about due to expire.

And for more modern rotations, I currently have a Palm T3 in my pocket with this feature.


In reading through Apple's patent application, what it appears to be saying is that there's more than one way to accomplish the rotating function, and a less computationally-intensive method would be a Good Thing(TM). As such, they're not proposing patenting the idea of a rotating screen, but simply one particular technique of doing so.

Be this all said, I was disappointed when the original LCD iMac came out and lacked the rotating screen feature, in the context that to Engineer the articulating arm to allow doing so is IMO a straightforward, technically low risk, task. And the most straightforward way of driving the screen is to simply have two video cards, one dedicated to each layout...given that a basic PC videocards retail for as little as $25, the cost for the feature really shouldn't be outrageous.

-hh

robotrenegade
Apr 20, 2004, 12:25 PM
Any pictures or drawings from anyone just to get an idea?

iZac
Apr 20, 2004, 12:32 PM
maybe it was apple's intention to reduce functionality of the G4 iMac, -hh? after all, the G4 iMac will be a very hard one (in design innovation terms)to top, when they do finally replace it. maybe a full desk lamp style articulation along with display rotation will be the killer feature of the new iMac?

having said that, think about it, a rotating display is a novel feature, but quite wasted on what is basically a consumer device. It would be smarter to implement this feedom of articulation in a pro. machine? After all, that field will have the far greater need for it. i cant see a lot of people playing quake in portrait o_O haha

shadowself
Apr 20, 2004, 12:33 PM
This patent is NOT trying to do a patent on a swivel display. There are several of those displays out there and in the summary the patent author discloses that they exist as he must. This is not at all a patent for a new monitor.

This patent is about a specific implementation of doing the translations for the rotating images on the screen. It is about doing the processing of the imagery so it is rotation independent and allows rotations in any direction with minimal processing.

As a person with a few patents (one for a system recently given authorization for funding by the U.S. Government for $1.5 billion) and a few of the patents having over 100 claims in them, I will make some informed comments about patents for all here.

First: you can't patent an idea -- only a specific implementation of an idea. Apple seems to be patenting a specific implementation of how to do the processing for rotating monitors. They are not trying to lay claim to all versions of rotating monitors or the concept that the transformations can be done.

Second: you can't patent anything you have disclosed publicly, without restriction, for more than one year prior to the date of your filing. This means that if you talked to your best buddy about the idea -- without telling him UP FRONT that it was a secret -- then you waited 367 days from that conversation to file for your patent then your patent can be successfully challenged and killed. It is not worth filing. The one year period has absolutely nothing to do with selling anything. It has to do with unrestricted public disclosure. Bye-the-bye, the act of filing a formal patent application is considered a public disclosure. If you don't move forward with the patent and get the USPTO to formally consider your patent within one year of filing your initial disclosure with the USPTO then your patent is dead forever.

Third: Patents typically issue in under two years, but can take many years to issue. There are SEVERAL formal steps along the way to a patent getting issued. A patent being issued is just the last step. Some inventors keep modifying their patents and getting the USPTO to not issue the patent for specific reasons ... one such reason is they don't want the VCs investing in them to be able to shop the patent out from under them. There are many other reasons than this too.

Fourth: You can patent variations on a theme. This happens often. (Patent a bag with a single loop handle. Then patent a bag with double loop handles so long as the implementation of the double loop handle is distinctly different from the single loop handle, etc.) In some circles these are called "fence patents". You have a very valuable core patent and then you file lots of variations on that patent. Then if anyone wants to attack the core patent they must attack the fence patents too -- often making the attack much more difficult.

Fifth: You MUST do your homework on a patent. You MUST do a reasonable search of the industry in which your patent is applicable. Everything of an historical nature which has direct bearing on the uniqueness of your patent of which you are aware must be disclosed in your patent application. This is referred to as "prior art". You must give explicit examples if you know of them. You don't have to give all examples. This does not mean you have to do a 100% exhaustive search to find out everything possible. However, it does mean you have to put forth reasonable effort. Apple mentions prior art in their summary. They most likely mention more in the full disclosure.

Sixth: the U.S. is one of the few countries which still has a "first to invent" rule rather than a "first to file" rule. This means that in the U.S. the real inventor is the important one. If you can prove you invented something and disclosed it publicly before someone else's patent filing for their "invention" then you can very likely kill their patent -- if you so disire. In a "first to file" country it does not matter if you invented it first. You did not file for the patent. (The hazard in a "first to file" country is that you could discuss an idea with someone then through the grapevine someone could hear of it and file a few weeks later. This filing and patent, if issued, might stand up in court.)

Seventh: The USPTO recently changed the duration of patent validilty. It used to be 17 years from issue for the typical patent. It is now 20 years from the initial filing. (This used to be one of the reasons why people tried to keep the patent from issuing. As long as it was "patent pending", i.e., the patent was accepted for filing and was in review but not issued, the implementation got nearly the same rights as if the patent were issued. If you kept this up for 5 or 6 years then it issued and you got another 17 years then you could get protection for 22 or 23 years. The USPTO stopped this by going to a 20 year from initial filing ruling.)

Patenting things is not a trivial process. Sure, stupid things get through sometimes. Sure, sometimes things get a patent issued which have been in the public domain for several years before the patent application was filed. However, in general the USPTO does a good job.

abenoboy
Apr 20, 2004, 12:33 PM
my mock-up from a few months back: the swivel screen imac:

http://mysite.verizon.net/letsgetsome/newimac.jpg

Doctor Q
Apr 20, 2004, 12:37 PM
Patents haven't instantly turned into products in the past, and I don't think this indicates a soon-to-be-released product either. I'm still waiting for the color-changing computer case we talked about after a previous patent.

I once got to try a Radius Pivot and I liked the idea of working in landscape for Hypercard-type projects and in portrait for word processing. Thesedays, web surfing and e-mail join word processing as a mostly vertical-orientation activity, while movie editing and viewing are important horizon-orientation activities. I like the quality of Apple's Cinema displays, but haven't bought one mainly due to their aspect ratio, which doesn't suit my most common tasks.

Bhennies
Apr 20, 2004, 12:48 PM
Those displays are absolutely fabulous! :-) If Apple doesn't get on the ball and contract Eyegonomic to design the next gen displays, I will strongly consider the Eyegonomic 24" display. It's beautiful!!!It's also 4,000 dollars :(

Liske
Apr 20, 2004, 12:54 PM
The retail version of the ati Pro 9800 comes with software to rotate your screen. All you need is a monitor or LCD that pivots and the 9800 and you have rotating monitors....

Seems like no one knows this is already availabe for those that need it.

Best
JL

benpatient
Apr 20, 2004, 01:00 PM
for the Mac?

are you sure? Why is this not available for 9600 and BTO 9800 G5s?

I have been told that there is no rotating software for OS X and that I should just get over it...

pretty annoying that I can do portrait mode with an old crappy Pentium 3 hooked up to my Samsung 213T, but not my G5...

DGFan
Apr 20, 2004, 01:04 PM
Second: you can't patent anything you have disclosed publicly, without restriction, for more than one year prior to the date of your filing. This means that if you talked to your best buddy about the idea -- without telling him UP FRONT that it was a secret -- then you waited 367 days from that conversation to file for your patent then your patent can be successfully challenged and killed. It is not worth filing. The one year period has absolutely nothing to do with selling anything. It has to do with unrestricted public disclosure. Bye-the-bye, the act of filing a formal patent application is considered a public disclosure. If you don't move forward with the patent and get the USPTO to formally consider your patent within one year of filing your initial disclosure with the USPTO then your patent is dead forever.

1. Telling your friend would not constitute public disclosure (and, therefore, would not prevent a patent). However, if your friend went and wrote a paper on it or published an article, that would.

2. The 1 year limit absolutely has to do with selling. An invention can be sold even though it has not been publicly disclosed. For instance, if you invent a new kind of microchip fab process and use it to produce chips for sale. Even though the process was not disclosed the invention has been involved in a sale. You need to read up on 35 USC 102(b).

Fifth: You MUST do your homework on a patent. You MUST do a reasonable search of the industry in which your patent is applicable. Everything of an historical nature which has direct bearing on the uniqueness of your patent of which you are aware must be disclosed in your patent application. This is referred to as "prior art". You must give explicit examples if you know of them. You don't have to give all examples. This does not mean you have to do a 100% exhaustive search to find out everything possible. However, it does mean you have to put forth reasonable effort. Apple mentions prior art in their summary. They most likely mention more in the full disclosure.

A prior art search is not required by the applicant for all patent applications. However, and my memory is slipping here a bit, it may be required in a request to make the patent special (ie. it gets considered before other patents). It is true that if the applicant provides their own search it will smooth the process along.

Patenting things is not a trivial process. Sure, stupid things get through sometimes. Sure, sometimes things get a patent issued which have been in the public domain for several years before the patent application was filed. However, in general the USPTO does a good job.

Agreed. I have been studying for the patent bar since November!! Given the complexity of the task (by its very nature) I would agree that the USPTO does a pretty good job. Nothing's perfect though....and hopefully the courts can sort out the mistakes.

fixyourthinking
Apr 20, 2004, 01:06 PM
The retail version of the ati Pro 9800 comes with software to rotate your screen. All you need is a monitor or LCD that pivots and the 9800 and you have rotating monitors....

Seems like no one knows this is already availabe for those that need it.

Best
JL

Really? This would have been a major announcement. There's rotating software IN BOX for the ATI 9800? Why didn't ATI say anything? Indicate a link please.

Escher
Apr 20, 2004, 01:25 PM
what apple should do is work on a software solution to make OS X work with those Windows-only pivot monitors that are already out there.... heck, everyone makes them now, but I don't think any support Mac OS X.

I really don't understand why Apple hasn't done this already. I mean, if a video card can output 1280x1024 video, what could be so difficult about outputting 1024x1280? Just add a fex extra vertical/portrait resolutions to the Monitor Control Panel. If it were that easy, Apple would have done it already. So what's the technical hangup?

The ViewSonic ThinEdge 17" LCD on my wife's Wintel box has the pivot feature. I absolutely love portrait mode for working on long text documents, viewing PDFs, and reading long web pages. It's a shame that when I hook my 'Book to the LCD I am limited to landscape.

PS: A portrait/vertical display would go so nicely with the OS X Dock at the bottom of the screen!

Escher

Liske
Apr 20, 2004, 01:50 PM
Really? This would have been a major announcement. There's rotating software IN BOX for the ATI 9800? Why didn't ATI say anything? Indicate a link please.

Yah you'd think ATI could capitalize on a monopoly. I guess they all went to Harvard Business School. The info is easily found on the web though....

http://www.ati.com/products/radeon9800/radeon9800prome/specs.html

Best,
JL

Gabriel
Apr 20, 2004, 02:55 PM
Sorry guys - I screwed this one up. This is not a new patent but a re-issue of a patent filed in 1996 and granted in December 1998. The re-issue was filed in 2000 and granted on 3/23/04. The old patent is #5,854,641, the new patent is RE38,471. I guess I got confused by the complexity of the form. You should be able to find the patents on the www.uspto.gov site with those numbers.

HOWEVER, the new patent seems significantly different from the old one. It has 17 claims as opposed to 8 for the 1996 patent and the new claims seem to discuss more practical types of things, like the steps for rotating 90° and the hardware required whereas the old claims seemed more theoretical.

Also, the summary seems identical to the one from 1998, which explains the 640x480 resolution.

There are images on the USPTO site.

Someone with more experience with patents will have to explain this.

DGFan
Apr 20, 2004, 03:12 PM
Sorry guys - I screwed this one up. This is not a new patent but a re-issue of a patent filed in 1996 and granted in December 1998. The re-issue was filed in 2000 and granted on 3/23/04. The old patent is #5,854,641, the new patent is RE38,471. I guess I got confused by the complexity of the form. You should be able to find the patents on the www.uspto.gov site with those numbers.

HOWEVER, the new patent seems significantly different from the old one. It has 17 claims as opposed to 8 for the 1996 patent and the new claims seem to discuss more practical types of things, like the steps for rotating 90° and the hardware required whereas the old claims seemed more theoretical.

Also, the summary seems identical to the one from 1998, which explains the 640x480 resolution.

There are images on the USPTO site.

Someone with more experience with patents will have to explain this.

When filing a reissue patent you are basically saying, "our patent is defective." One possible defect is, "we claimed less than we were able to claim." Such a reissue is called a Broadening Reissue.

A Broadening Reissue has to be filed within 2 years of the original patent's grant date. New claims can be filed in a reissue. These claims have to be supported in the disclosure of the original patent application. The specification of a patent has a lot of description related to the invention claimed and will sometimes describe another invention or variant of the claimed invention. Patent protection for these can be added later through a reissue application (but, as I said, it has to be filed within 2 years of the patent date).

I hope that helps.

shen
Apr 20, 2004, 03:46 PM
Anybody remember those water toys you could get where you tip it upside down and the coloured oils would flow from top to bottom in interesting ways? Then tip it the other way and the oil would do the same again.

Imagine if you could tip the iMac screen into one view and the desktop (being 'aqua' and all) would gently wash itself into the new view as effortlessly as fast user switching.

screw the iMac, i want that on the laptops, just so i can tip my iBook and watch peoples faces when they see the screen change. :D

Snowy_River
Apr 20, 2004, 03:57 PM
...from what i've seen, its generally not the best idea to follow patent issues and what not...

Well put. Patents are applied for years before they're granted. Most likely, the G5 has technologies in it that are patent pending. Then, in a couple years, those patents will be granted and we'll get all excited because there's a new patent about 64-bit computing... until someone realizes that it had to do with the initial release of the G5...

Doctor Q
Apr 20, 2004, 04:19 PM
PS: A portrait/vertical display would go so nicely with the OS X Dock at the bottom of the screen!Your comment gives me an idea. How 'bout having a software option to let you rotate the dock too? In other words, if you normally have the dock at the bottom with the monitor in landscape orientation, you could choose whether it should remain at the bottom when you rotate to portrait orientation or whether it should rotate to the left/right side. That way, if you want the dock to have as much width/height as possible, you'd put it on the longest side of the monitor and it would stay against that side.

dpwilliams
Apr 20, 2004, 06:11 PM
Could they be designing a new newton it would seem a logical direction for apple to go in. they could be combining the ipod with a pda or something. They have already built some of the functionality of a pda into the ipod but completing it with a full screen a pen would give it more appeal and not take much doing really. :confused:

MacFan25
Apr 20, 2004, 06:12 PM
I would think that this patent was for the Newton, as stated earlier. Though, I think it would be cool if Apple used a technology like this somehow. They could probably come up with a cool way to use it on the iMac. :cool:

mvc
Apr 20, 2004, 07:37 PM
5th Generation iPod I suspect, launching this time next year? 4th generation iPod should be out soon apparently, rumoured to be with colour screen & video out. Sync with iPhoto perhaps?

This tech is definitely most ideal for any handheld device with a larger screen. There are some handhelds doing this kind of thing already.

JongAm
Apr 20, 2004, 07:42 PM
Well.. a few months ago, I suggested the idea to the Apple.
I thought that the current cinema-oriented width/height ratio of Apple display may be good for watching movies, but it is not good for reading documents.
So, if the iMac's screen can be rotated, it would be very nice for reading documents, especially multicolumn thesis.
Notebook screens also can be applied.

Usually they send me "Thank you note" but this time, they didn't.
Did they think the same thing I thougth? Who knows?

Nermal
Apr 21, 2004, 01:32 AM
While pivoting displays have been marketed in the past (Radius Pivot (http://www.gifford.co.uk/~coredump/pivot.htm))

I've got one of those in the garage :D

fixyourthinking
Apr 21, 2004, 06:28 AM
Yah you'd think ATI could capitalize on a monopoly. I guess they all went to Harvard Business School. The info is easily found on the web though....

http://www.ati.com/products/radeon9800/radeon9800prome/specs.html

Best,
JL


The link you posted doesn't work and I called a friend at ATI - they said no such software or capability exists in ANY of their cards for the Mac - it does in PCs.

Nermal
Apr 21, 2004, 06:55 AM
The link works fine. And the site says that rotation exists in the Mac version too:

VERSAVISION™ provides hardware accelerated display rotation and scaling

tex210
Apr 21, 2004, 09:39 AM
I'm one of those optimistic people still waiting for an Apple pda. But i want to be able to work with full applications... you know, just keep shrinking that laptop 'til it's pocketable/wearable. Brighthand is associating this rumor in this way. They also offer the usual "we hear these rumors every year" disclaimer.
edit: If it's gsm capable, even better, or maybe bluetooth offers higher market penetration. Any thoughts? You know, besides the obligatory "There's no reason for x device because... I would never need it, It will be too expensive, I can't look at a screen smaller than 30", etc.

morkintosh
Apr 21, 2004, 10:54 AM
Readers are cautioned, however, that this particular patent, however, may simply represent Newton technology patents finally becoming processed. The patent summary notes that the rotation feature would be "especially advantageous for pen-based and hand-held computers". Apple's Newton 2x00 handheld computer did allow for this same portrait and landscape rotation.

I used to have an eMate and that is exactly how the screen would work between keyboard and pen-input mode ... I wouldn't look at this being a feature for furture product lines

g4cube
Apr 21, 2004, 12:17 PM
The link you posted doesn't work and I called a friend at ATI - they said no such software or capability exists in ANY of their cards for the Mac - it does in PCs.


The link works.

The card works.

On a Mac running OS X.

The Apple OEM version of the Radeon 9800 is DIFFERENT; only the retail version supports this capability.

Liske
Apr 21, 2004, 12:25 PM
This would be a question for any who have a 9800 Pro RETAIL and use portrait mode...

I am a web developer and wondering if any others out there work in portrait mode when developing websites or working in Macromedia Flash.

[The ATI link does blow a bit, I think it crashes Safari often on my computer. Thanks all for validating.]

Thanks
JL

bryantm3
Apr 21, 2004, 12:41 PM
i do not understand what is being explained.
can someone post a drawing?

Doctor Q
Apr 21, 2004, 02:33 PM
i do not understand what is being explained.
can someone post a drawing?If you are talking about how a swivel screen might look, see this post by abenoboy, who provides a link to a mockup photo. The idea is that the hardware and software would let you turn the screen and have the display adjust automatically to suit the new aspect ratio.

If you are talking about a handheld device, then the same idea applies. You'd turn the device whichever way you like and the software would accommodate it to make the display face you.

Piker
Apr 21, 2004, 04:43 PM
Immediate thoughts: Can they make a Cinema Display stand on it's side? What about a "tablet" powerbook? On a flat panel iMac that would be easy to implement and intensely cool.

Realistic thoughts: What practical application would call for a person to need to rotate their display from horizontal widescreen to vertical "tallscreen"? Not sure I can think of too many that would appeal to the masses enough to warrant the massive redesign it would take to implement this feature (except for the iMac). But who knows.

I quote Will Farrell (Frank "The Tank" Ricard) from Old School: "Maybe it's something really cool, that I don't even know about."

-Piker

Doctor Q
Apr 21, 2004, 04:59 PM
Maybe somebody will think of a reason you'd want to turn your screen 45 degrees and use it in "diamond-orientation". Maybe for playing baseball games on the computer?

patriotn11
Apr 21, 2004, 05:03 PM
Where can I get the desktop photo the new powerbook displays at the apple website, that is a cool desktop display.

Please let me know.

Michael :D

tex210
Apr 21, 2004, 10:13 PM
Realistic thoughts: What practical application would call for a person to need to rotate their display from horizontal widescreen to vertical "tallscreen"? Not sure I can think of too many that would appeal to the masses enough to warrant the massive redesign it would take to implement this feature (except for the iMac). But who knows.

I quote Will Farrell (Frank "The Tank" Ricard) from Old School: "Maybe it's something really cool, that I don't even know about."

-Piker

think of it like expose, where everything shifts when you want a different perspective, on the fly, or as someone said earlier, the user switch, but a rotate. From editing a portrait, turn when web browsing, or typing..
words look better
when they
don't look
like this...

but when a line of text goes for a nice little span across the screen it's easier on the eyes.

I imagine a modern color screen dana type, with a better than psion keyboard clammed(shell) under it.

ibjoshua
Apr 21, 2004, 11:31 PM
Maybe somebody will think of a reason you'd want to turn your screen 45 degrees and use it in "diamond-orientation". Maybe for playing baseball games on the computer?
nice!


Things I noticed from the
schematics (http://patimg1.uspto.gov/.piw?docid=US005854641&PageNum=1&IDKey=67E383C40664&HomeUrl=http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1%2526Sect2=HITOFF%2526d=PALL%2526p=1%2526u=/netahtml/srchnum.htm%2526r=1%2526f=G%2526l=50%2526s1=5,854,641.WKU.%2526OS=PN/5,854,641%2526RS=PN/5,854,641) on the Patents Office site.

1. They refer to a 'flat panel display'
2. The lowest resolution in the examples is 640x480 and the highest is 1024x768

The reference to a flat panel display immediately suggests that it was potential Newton technology until you look at those resolutions.
From my point of view the most interesting thing about this post is that Apple was predicting relatively widespread availablity of flat panel displays for desktops as early as 1996.
I agree with other posters, this patent probably does not reperesent any new products.

i_b_joshua

jackthemac
Apr 22, 2004, 05:38 PM
ATI demoed this with their 9800s at Macworld SF...

something that ATI brings to the table that has not been done before is the fact that the rotating display with the RADEON is not done through software but is hardware accelerated... unlike offerings from other manufacturers... they may even own the patent.

gadg
Apr 26, 2004, 05:48 AM
As a bonus it would be another unique Mac feature.

Microsoft incorporated this into their Windows XP Tablet version last year. I tested a tablet pc for a while. Also, their Pocket PC version does the same.

I would love for this technology to be used by Apple in Powerbooks, together with tablet functionality. This weekend I had to decide between a Tablet PC and a Powerbook and decided the latter, mainly because I wanted to switch to Apple ... but also because tablet use is still only personal productivity gain, not connected productivity gain, for instance: hand written emails would get sent as a TIFF attachment ... yuck!

Should Apple decide to make a tablet notebook, I'm sure they would find a way to make it all work smoothly.