Apple files with the USPTO for two new patents

Apple files with the USPTO for two new patents
Apple has filed a couple of patent applications with the USPTO. One would allow iPhone users to control the brightness and contrast level of certain portions of the iPhone display instead of having to control the entire screen all at once. In the application, Apple points out that the system could work on selective areas of a screen using minimal user input. Besides making the screen easier to read, it could lead to better battery life as well.

The second patent is for a process that allows the Apple iPhone to automatically switch between the back camera and the front-facing snapper while FaceTime is being used. Visual or voice cues would allow the camera to automatically shift between cameras and viewpoints. The patent, "Automatic video stream selection" was published Thursday by the USPTO. While some newer smartphone models allow both front and back cameras to take photographs or videos simultaneously, the Apple iPhone's cameras only work one at a time although the user can toggle back and forth between cameras. The Cupertino based company says that bandwidth restrictions prevent it from offering the dual-camera input.

Apple's patent is based on two streams that monitors voice and video streams listening for pre-selected cues that determine which camera will be used. An example would be a FaceTime call where the rear-facing camera is used at first until a person's voice is heard which sets off a shift to the front-facing camera. Besides sounds, other cues, like lip movement, would allow for the switching of the camera.

A "Report Mode" starts with video from the rear view camera that shifts to the front camera once the user's voice is heard. In interview mode, the phone is in between the user and a subject. The front facing camera is used when the user's voice is heard and switches to the rear-facing camera once the subject starts talking. While this feature is not yet available for the iPhone, it is possible that we will see it on the Apple iPhone 5S.

source: AppleInsider (1), (2)



1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

As much as I like Apple for their products, wtf is this? I've read the whole article and all I'm thinking is they're seriously trying to patent every single thing now. Don't even get me started on the drawing for picture 3...

7. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

I'm really glad you said it first PapaSmurf. Because any comment from someone using any other OS would instantly be labeled a troll. Anyway, I don't see a use for these two features right now. Maybe when implemented and we can see it in use, it will all make sense. But right now, I gotta wonder why even bother with either of these.

9. tedkord

Posts: 17489; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Thats mostly all they've ever done.

11. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Yeah I know, but honestly it's definitely gotten out of control. I like what Apple dishes out. Hell, I'm buying a MacBook Pro in Decemeber for Medical school, but it kills me giving my money to a company whos starting to slowly lose my interest...

36. rdemon

Posts: 50; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Well you are not forced to buy a mac pro. I'm pretty sure there are other alternatives.

18. joaolx

Posts: 364; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

And yet, Samsung has way more patents than Apple.

21. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Compare the number of patents Apple has to Samsung from 2007-now, and then you'll realize what I'm talking about.

34. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

That few drawings remind me of the feature in S4 of capturing both front and back camera with option of display and print on the same photo. The other is a feature to display information on top part of the LG G and S4 smart cover. I was a Apple fan and was thrilled when they announce the notification center in WWDC. I show it to my friend that when i realize that they are not the first and had copied from Android. Then came the lawsuit of Apple vs Samsung... above that i always dislike their business practice of crippling software feature in the older mac and iOS devices. Finally,. i have decided to stop being an Apple fan. That when i want out and Android provide that path. I now choose to follow the FOSS path whenever possible which will leave my options open to newer and better tech.

35. aditya.k

Posts: 496; Member since: Mar 10, 2013

Look, that girl doesn't even have a face. How is she gonna do facetime? XD

37. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

Much Respect...PapaSmurf, all these companies are getting patent silly.

41. Pedro0x

Posts: 271; Member since: Oct 19, 2012

You guys should learn to govern your feelings. This is business, if I had money like Apple I would take advantage of USPTO and patent every single thing that is patentable :).

42. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

You're what's wrong with the world.

40. takeja

Posts: 35; Member since: Aug 16, 2013

So don't buy any product from such a rotten company responsible for e-books price fixing affair... If you support such a rotten company by buying it's products they will be doing rotten things all the time

2. Ninetysix

Posts: 2966; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Comment section is going to be good... /popcorn


Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Hello Apple Fanboy ™

3. power_x

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

Hmm , these ideas are good , especially the brightness thing , I hope that Apple puts these features in their future products , not only patent them and leave them

15. mrfamous1

Posts: 27; Member since: Apr 25, 2012

Go home power_x your drunk

16. power_x

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

I am at my home already , AND I AM NOT DRUNK YOU FOOL

20. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012


22. power_x

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

Are you talking to me PapaSmurf ?

23. power_x

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

Anyway if you don't like my comments don't reply then .

31. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

You really are drunk, aren't you? When you're sober, try figuring out which thread he replied to. Okay? Now before you think i'm against you...get sober first.

32. power_x

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

I am not drunk

38. TechnoTechyes

Posts: 71; Member since: Jan 24, 2011

Think he was doing a spell check on mrfamous1. your drunk should have read you're drunk. To be honest, I like your idea that they use their patents, But I think this is another attempt to patent what other companies are almost already doing. Samsung has, and LG will soon have phone screens with little windows to only display about 20% of screen when it is closed. (watch ) Without widgets, Apple cannot really implement such a screen, So, this feels like another attempt to make other phones harder to use, not to improve their own devices. I cannot imagine any other good reason to request this patent.


Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Yea go home you! Stop Trolling™ you Troll®

33. power_x

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

My sister can troll better than you

4. jaxson983

Posts: 43; Member since: Aug 11, 2013

no one is ever going to dim part of their screen...its useless.

5. GeekMovement unregistered

What a patent troll.


Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Along with their bribery that Apple pays to patent this, that they pay 3x than others... ™

6. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

"Wake me up when Apple is innovative again" ~~ Rip VanWinkle

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