Apple Patent Watch: Pico Projectors and 'Schematic Maps'

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    #1
    [​IMG]


    While we do hesitate to read too much into Apple's patent applications, a couple of new applications published earlier today are gaining some attention for their connections to other Apple-related people and events that have raised the level of intrigue.

    Last week, we noted that Apple had finally been revealed as the owner of the applepico.com domain name, as public registration information for the domain was updated to move from Apple's brand management firm MarkMonitor to Apple itself. And now, Unwired View and Patently Apple report that a newly-published patent application from Apple describes in detail how the company could include internal or external pico projectors with its products and utilize them in novel ways.

    [​IMG]


    In particular, Apple's patent application addresses means by which multiple devices with projectors could be used in concert, either as separate displays or as a single unified display. Either setup could be take advantage of built-in cameras to allow systems to automatically recognize and interpret gestures and shadows, facilitating more dynamic and interactive presentations.

    In separate-display mode, a presenter could use a gesture to "push" an image or other content from one screen onto a second one. In unified-display mode, multiple pico projectors could automatically line up their projected images to create a single workspace covering a much larger space than would be possible with only a single projector.

    [​IMG]


    Today's published patent application dates back to February 2010 and is by no means the company's first to address the concept of pico projectors. And while the technology remains in its early stages and is unlikely to make its way into Apple's products in the near future, it's clear the that the company's engineers are at least exploring about the possibilities.

    A second patent application, summarized by AppleInsider, demonstrates some of the advances being made by members of Apple's maps team brought on board with the company's acquisition of Placebase two years ago. The new application, which was filed in February 2010 and is credited to Placebase co-founders Jaron Waldman and Moran Ben-David, is entitled "Schematic Maps" and describes a new maps application that could display a simplified subset of information most relevant to a user seeking specific information or routing.

    [​IMG]


    Apple describes how a map could automatically assign "usefulness" indexes to various map features and either display only the most useful features to assist users or distort existing maps to emphasize those most useful features. One example of how the idea could be implemented in practice includes a map route that displays only the exact route to be taken, with a subset of additional information such as cross streets and landmarks also included to assist the user. Other examples include schematics highlighting where a user's friends and contacts are nearby or over-emphasizing the location of a minor alleyway that could help a user find a specific nearby location.

    Article Link: Apple Patent Watch: Pico Projectors and 'Schematic Maps'
     
  2. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
  3. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #3
    I love this idea! I hate how on my Garmin when I zoom out the display it makes it impossible to see my route because it shows so many irrelevant street and names on its tiny screen.
     
  4. scottparker999 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    #4
    I don't understand.
     
  5. shartypants macrumors 6502a

    shartypants

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #5
    The idea of having a projector in your phone is pretty cool I guess, but it must really suck the battery life.
     
  6. mazz0 macrumors 68000

    mazz0

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #6
    Loving that second idea, such as just showing the route on the map, not all the surrounding streets. Not original though, if you ask someone for directions and they draw you a map that's what they do, so I don't see how it can be patented, but I'd still like to see it in the Maps app. Wonder if a new maps app will be a suprise when iOS5 goes gold...
     
  7. res1233 macrumors 65816

    res1233

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #7
    At the very least, Apple is definitely considering this. Projectors may appear in the iPad 3 and iPhone 6. I doubt the iPhone 5 would have it, but it is possible seeing as it's going to be released soon. About now would be perfect timing for a patent.

    I could see some businesses using this rather than spending money on costly large TVs. The savings could be huge! Depends on the quality of the projection though. I'd use it for Netflix. :p
     
  8. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    #8
    UHG. PICO is a projector for the iPhone. I can't imagine anything quality in it; the idea with modern technology would be more expensive gimmick than prudent utility.
     
  9. Day48 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #9
    Projectors would be dumb. Seriously!? who would use them? The battery life already sucks and its not like it would be a good projector, if you are watching 1080p movies, it would be projected back into standard resolution because of the projector, plus this would add bulk to the iPhone, which Apple obviously doesn't want.
     
  10. singhjeet29 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #10
    I feel like it would be an iPad feature first (to sell more iPads) and then move on to the phone a year later, so perhaps iPhone 7 IF (and I feel like thats a pretty big if) this were to ever materialize.
     
  11. D-Dave macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    #11
    Not sure about patent law in the US...is there a time limit for a patent holder to actualy create a prototype/final product for the patent to stay valid or is it more like: "Hey, I thought about getting a paptent for this first and even though I have no clue on how to make it...anyone dare to be smarter then me, ever, and actualy create the thing"?

    btw, the map Idea sounds like the autozoom feature of many Nav-systems (like the newer TomToms) with added croping of some content...I wonder if that is even patentable?!
     
  12. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    #12
    Interesting idea. I am not often in a room dark enough to use a projector like that, but may be handy in specific situations. Interesting innovation though.
     
  13. res1233, Aug 11, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011

    res1233 macrumors 65816

    res1233

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #13
    You have to think outside of the box to understand the value of things you don't currently use. Find a nice flat wall somewhere, or hang something from the ceiling, and like magic you have a larger screen to watch things on. The issue is indeed the quality, but battery life? Wouldn't have much of an affect if you don't use it. We have no idea what kind of quality they could manage to fit inside an iPhone by the time they do include it, assuming the next iPhone doesn't have it, so it may work out.

    You have to read the patent itself to understand what's being patented. For all you know, the shape of the iPhone could be the patent.
     
  14. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    PHX, AZ.
    #14
  15. msb3079 macrumors 6502a

    msb3079

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Location:
    collingswood. nj
    #15
    You guys do know you can plug iPhones and iPads in, right?
     
  16. chagla macrumors 6502a

    chagla

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    #16
  17. BJMRamage macrumors 68020

    BJMRamage

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
  18. Apple..., Aug 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2011

    Apple... macrumors 68020

    Apple...

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Location:
    The United States
    #18
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    So what? :confused:

    No. I predict iOS 6. :cool:
     
  19. jayducharme macrumors 68040

    jayducharme

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    The thick of it
    #19
    I would, rather than have to connect my iPhone or iPad to a separate projector or TV. I could see this being huge for business presentations on the go or in the classroom. Right now our college spends about $5000 to $10,000 to equip a classroom with projection technology. If each faculty member had a mobile device that also projected, that would be a huge savings.

    The only drawback right now is that pico projectors simply don't have enough lumens to be generally useful. But I'm sure that will change.
     
  20. arya123 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    #20
  21. jayducharme macrumors 68040

    jayducharme

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    The thick of it
    #21
    If you read the article at your link, you'd realize that LG produced a different device entirely from what Apple is proposing. LG made a standard cell phone to which you could connect an optional LG pico projector.

    Remember, Apple didn't "invent" the tablet either -- but it was the first company to make the tablet useable for the general public.
     
  22. jeff33702 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #22
    "While we do hesitate to read too much into Apple's patent applications,"...

    Skip.
     
  23. winston1236 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    #23
    yea but watch and see it be called something like the Apple Pico Pro Projector
     
  24. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    PHX, AZ.
    #24
    And what do you think Apple is going to do? Build it into the phone... not.
    It will be an attachment. Perhaps built into an iPad, but not an iPhone.

    The tech still doesn't exist to shrink the projector into a slim phone design and still be powerful enough to be useful.

    Like I said, the linking of multiple units is a novel idea, but attaching a pico projector to a cell phone has been done. They suck the life out your battery too.
     
  25. dblessin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    #25
    what if....

    What if the two ideas were combined?... Maybe it would be useful if you could put it on your dash board in your car and use the pico projector as a heads up display for a new maps application using your windshield as the screen.... Now that would be awesome.
     

Share This Page

53 August 11, 2011