New Apple iPhone Patent Applications Surface: Object and Facial Recognition, Messaging, Voice Modulation

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published several dozen Apple patent applications this morning, and Unwired View highlights one group of them primarily related to iPhone software. The patents cover object and facial recognition, messaging, and voice modulation.

Object Recognition: One patent application, filed on June 17th, 2008, describes methods by which a mobile device user could detect an object via camera, RFID sensor or other means and have their device automatically identify and provide additional information on the object. In Apple's background information on the patent, an example of an art museum is used, describing how a user might take a photo of a piece of art and wish to have it automatically identified and additional information on it provided, or engage in an audio tour or podcast and wish to access additional content beyond that provided in the audio files.

101713 object recognition 300
Object recognition

Facial Detection: Another patent application, filed on March 8th, 2008, addresses the use of facial detection to allow a device to determine whether a user is passively interacting with the device. As an example, Apple describes how a user watching a video may have to periodically interact with a device in order to prevent a screen saver from activating. Apple's invention utilizes automatic facial detection via a camera on the device to determine that a user is present. The method may also be used to grant or deny users access to restricted applications or other data.

Message Filtering: Conceived as an extension of Parental Controls, this application, filed January 3rd, 2008, covers the ability for users to filter incoming or outgoing text-based messages based on their content. User-defined criteria could allow messages containing objectionable material to be edited to remove the content or be blocked entirely. Additionally, the technology could be used to require certain content to be present in messages. For example, a parent might require that messages contain proper spelling and grammar, or certain vocabulary words, or a certain number of words in a foreign language over a set period of time in order to aid a student in his or her studies.

Managing Multiple-Recipient Messages: In a patent application filed January 6th, 2008, Apple describes a method for managing messages with multiple recipients. The invention covers the ability for an application monitor whether the message has been delivered to all recipients, and if not, provide a simple interface for resending at a later time to those who have not received the message.

Unread Message Alerts: An application filed January 3rd, 2008 covers the ability for a device to automatically provide unread message alerts when a user is about to contact another party. For example, as a user begins to compose an e-mail to another person, the device may alert the user to unread messages from the second party that they may wish to view before sending their e-mail. The alert criteria may simply include the message recipient's name, but could also be expanded to specify content on the same subject as the intended message.

101713 unread status 500
Unread message alerts

Voice Modulation: In a final patent application filed April 2nd, 2008, Apple describes methods for modulating voice audio output to simulate additional voices. Apple's examples describe a mother who could have an audiobook read in her voice to her child or a student who wishes to alter a section of a podcast lecture for emphasis.

Related Forum: iPhone

Popular Stories

Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple Cancels Electric Car Project

Tuesday February 27, 2024 11:05 am PST by
Apple has canceled all plans to release an autonomous, electric vehicle, reports Bloomberg. Apple has been working on an Apple Car for more than a decade and invested millions of dollars into development before deciding it was not a viable project. Apple's Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams today told approximately 2,000 employees working on the Apple Car that the project was canceled,...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

iOS 18 Rumored to Be Compatible With These iPhone Models

Tuesday February 27, 2024 6:31 am PST by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and thereby also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. The post was spotted by MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris, and it has since been deleted. However, this was likely because the...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Coming Soon With These New Features for Your iPhone

Monday February 26, 2024 6:08 am PST by
In a press release last month, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU, Apple Podcasts transcripts, and an iMessage security upgrade. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay...
applearcade

Game Developers Describe 'Smell of Death' Around Apple Arcade

Monday February 26, 2024 7:24 am PST by
Some game developers are dissatisfied with Apple Arcade amid concerns about the subscription service's future, a new report claims. Sources speaking to mobilegamer.biz described a "smell of death" around Apple's games subscription service and noted the difference between the company's investment in TV and music, and its interest in games. "At the very top of the company there needs to be a ...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPad Air 5

iPadOS 18 Rumored to Drop Support for These iPad Models

Tuesday February 27, 2024 6:55 am PST by
iPadOS 18 will drop support for iPad models equipped with the A10X Fusion chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS and iPadOS updates. This means that iPadOS 18 would not be compatible with the first-generation 10.5-inch iPad Pro or the second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro models released in 2017. It...