Apple Accelerometer Patents and a Tablet Mac?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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8,491


Macsimumnews reports on a new patent that appears to be one of Apple's which depicts possible uses for an accelerometer in a Tablet form factor.

The patent application includes diagrams of what appears to be a tablet form-factor screen with use of an accelerometer. Possible uses include:

- detecting movement of a portable device as a way to trigger whether a page of document or image may be displayed
- gaming application to detect a scene change
- in navigation application to navigate a large object or document that can not be displayed entirely at once
- determine whether a device is moving
- movement as password authentication
- and more...

Apple presently uses accelerometers in their PowerBook/MacBook line of computers described as "Sudden Motion Sensor" technology to park the heads of the hard drive if the laptop falls. These new patent descriptions may simply be in relation to research done in developing this technology, however the possibility of a Tablet Mac always draws interest of the Mac community. Apple has long been rumored to be working on a Tablet PC, since the demise of the Apple Newton PDA. Rumors peaked in 2003 with several credible sources pointing to the evidence of a Tablet Mac at that time.
 

p0intblank

macrumors 68030
Sep 20, 2005
2,557
2
New Jersey
stoid said:
Apple's going to make an Etch-a-Sketch! You draw on it, then shake it to clear the screen!
There's actually a Widget that lets you do that. It's pretty neat. :p

As for this so called "rumor," I am calling bogus. Steve knows there isn't any real market for tablet PCs yet, so why bother now? Maybe in a few years.
 

ennerseed

macrumors regular
Jan 3, 2002
142
0
large document usage

the concept of using an accelerometer type sensor to view large documents on a small screen is fabulous.
using this for images, webpages, etc is really the only way to go without wearing an (EXTREMELY) geeky headset device.

And sorry folks I really think a part of Apples Intel decision is in the fact that they will be able to produce a small handheld full OSX Mac.
 

gb506

macrumors newbie
Jan 3, 2004
2
0
Pittsburgh, PA
p0intblank said:
As for this so called "rumor," I am calling bogus. Steve knows there isn't any real market for tablet PCs yet, so why bother now? Maybe in a few years.
Remember, there wasn't a big market for portable mp3 players until recently, either... It's all about implementation...
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,551
1,186
I want OS X in as small a form factor as Apple will give me, even if most apps are best when an external display is added.

This sounds like just another "just in case" patent though. Many Apple patents never turn into products, and some that do become products stay in the labs and are never sold.

But you can already download games that use the PowerBook/MacBook's motion sensors :)
 

mwpeters8182

macrumors 6502
Apr 16, 2003
411
0
Boston, MA
If they announced an OS X tablet, I'd probably order it within a week. A bunch of people use tablets in my lab, it's great for taking notes electronically when you can't just do it with text - figures, etc.
 

Bad Beaver

macrumors regular
Nov 27, 2003
115
0
mwpeters8182 said:
If they announced an OS X tablet, I'd probably order it within a week. A bunch of people use tablets in my lab, it's great for taking notes electronically when you can't just do it with text - figures, etc.
ACK. Apple would take in even more of the education market too.
 

MrCrowbar

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2006
1,956
70
p0intblank said:
There's actually a Widget that lets you do that. It's pretty neat. :p

Can you post a link to that widget? I'm actually interested in all widgets using the sudden motion sensor. :) Wish there would be a link on apple to those things.
 

p0intblank

macrumors 68030
Sep 20, 2005
2,557
2
New Jersey
gb506 said:
Remember, there wasn't a big market for portable mp3 players until recently, either... It's all about implementation...
This is true, but it's Tablet PCs we are talking about. How many people do you see using a PDA? I see very few rarely. Tons of people could utilize an MP3 player because it's a music player. It's simple. How many people need a Tablet PC? A small percentage, that's for sure. I would be interested in using one, but I don't know if I would ever really need one.

But I agree with you about implemenatation. I just don't see it happening with this particular market.

Edit: MrCrowbar, I'm sorry for my bad wording in my post. It doesn't use Sudden Motion Sensor technology. It's simply an Etch-A-Sketch Widget that you use and shake with your mouse movements.

You can find it here: http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/games/sketcher.html
 

dual64bit

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2004
316
41
Perhaps this whole movement detection is just a ploy to take on Dance Dance Revolution!!

Picture it now, no footpads, just hold this apple product and dance!
 

24C

macrumors 6502a
Nov 9, 2004
519
0
I'd like a small form factor Mac,a bit like nagromme's, but to fit inside my jacket, allowed me to have a simple input screen so I could go online via Wifi (Starbucks), upload some pics/ simple notes to dotmac/whatever instead of lugging a PB around. If I could fit my music on it, some videos even better, so kinda like a bigger iPod on steriods with a tablet/touch screen.
I'll wait, maybe I'll get lucky :)
 

Rocketman

macrumors 603
Tablet

Dear Apple Computer,

I want a tablet device. It should have EDGE or equivelant, and an associated ETHERNET output jack so I can hook my Powerbook to it as well.

It should have a touch screen and be a fully capable computer WRT browser, email, office document viewing and correction, etc.

It should have optional Blackberry features somehow and optional serius satellite radio or equivelant because one cannot miss Stern on a Jobs device.

Price is no object and features are.

Rocketman
 

gorkonapple

macrumors regular
Jan 24, 2004
124
0
Columbus, OH
NOT NEW.....prior art....

IBM/Lenovo had ths acellerometer and hard drive protection for a full year before Apple had it. How the USPTO can have a patent on this is nuts. Apple did not invent it.
 

dongmin

macrumors 68000
Jan 3, 2002
1,709
0
supergod said:
The tablet rumour never does seem to go away does it?
No offense to the macrumors modders, but the only reason you see this rumor pop up every few months is that Macrumors is obsessed with the idea. This rumor has been on-going for the last four years when the iWalk hoax surfaced. Now with the Intel transition and, of course, all the side rumors that come with it, there is bound to be renewed speculation about a tablet.

Don't get me wrong: I'm all for a sub-notebook with innovative design. But I've been waiting for four years for something solid to surface. All we've gotten are teasers and more teasers. Just about every other big rumor has been realized: the G5, Mac on Intel, Apple content distribution, etc. But the famed MacTablet (or MacPad, MacBooklet, MacNote) has yet to materialize.