Apple Acquires 18 'Axis-Based User Interface' Patents from Maya-Systems

Canadian firm Maya-Systems today announced that it has sold a group of 18 user interface patents to Apple. The patents appear to be related to Maya-Systems' work with axis-based interfaces in which documents and other files can be automatically grouped into timelines based on tags or other attributes and made accessible via the cloud.

Maya-Systems' technology offers an intuitive way to display any virtual content in a superior manner. This transaction attests that Maya-Systems axis-based user interface is ahead of the growing demand for axis-based user interfaces.

"We dealt with a significant number of sophisticated buyers," noted Mathieu Audet, founder of Maya-Systems and patent agent. "We are pleased to have secured the transaction with Apple." "Our patents have been analyzed thoroughly by many potential buyers. We are confident that they are strong assets."

iamorganized
Maya-Systems' key product is I am Organized, a platform for organizing, viewing, and sharing files.

IamOrganized’s uniquely distinctive, patented feature is its axes-based interface. Intuitive and elegant, axes herald a new era in content management. They show and manage content more meaningfully than ever.

Unlike folder trees based on file location, axes group files by subject (any attribute, really) and display them along a timeline.
Scroll an axis to view more files. Zoom in. Zoom out. Navigate swiftly between projects by displaying several axes on your screen.

Attribute-based, orderly and relational, axes give users a meaningful and integrated view of their files.


It is not entirely clear exactly what aspect of Maya-Systems' patent portfolio Apple was interested in controlling, but Apple has been making a significant push into cloud-based document and file storage and sharing, including such features Documents in the Cloud and Photo Stream.

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Top Rated Comments

FSMBP Avatar
149 months ago
dropbox still rules the cloud
And always will. iCloud is awful and Apple apparently thinks users are too stupid to understand "files" and "folders" even though the metaphor was fine 30 years ago. However, in iOS, users are forced to remember which apps holds they document they're looking for... Ex. did I save that PDF into iBook or into DropBox?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
needfx Avatar
149 months ago
dropbox still rules the cloud
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MRU Avatar
149 months ago
So Adobe Bridge and Apple's coverflow have gotten into the sack and had some hot dirty GUI action.... [cue 70's porn music]
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
shurcooL Avatar
149 months ago
This is eerily close to what I've been preaching for the last year, but no one is listening.

The best way to store your stuff is all in one synchronized (and backed up, version controlled) place, say Dropbox. But organizing files inside by JUST folders is bad.

Instead, there should be labels or tags, similar to Gmail's labels. You can apply them to files/folders, and get different views into your stuff:

-Files related to project A
-Photos
-Shared with person X
-Created within last 30 days
-Custom search queries?
-etc., etc.

Folders are very limiting cuz each file can only be in one folder. What if it's both a picture, and a part of project A? Do I put it in /Pictures or /ProjectA? Apply both labels, problem solved.

iCloud currently sucks for contents storage cuz you can't see all your files no matter what app they're in, so it's easy to forget what you have and where.

I really hope something good comes out of this.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Peace Avatar
149 months ago
A potential new coverflow view for the finder ?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Icaras Avatar
149 months ago
And always will. iCloud is awful and Apple apparently thinks users are too stupid to understand "files" and "folders" even though the metaphor was fine 30 years ago. However, in iOS, users are forced to remember which apps holds they document they're looking for... Ex. did I save that PDF into iBook or into DropBox?
30 years, yet some people still cannot grasp the concept of it or use it effectively. Ever see a person with a desktop full of icons? Great user-run file management there. I see this ALL the time at my office. Eventually for these people, it's going to be hell to find that file they were looking for. That's what I'm talking about.

Steve Jobs explained in either a keynote or one of the All Things Digital conferences: the learning curve for the average user goes way up once they hit the file system. And that's why Apple never implemented a user-run, traditional desktop file management system in iOS, and it's the right direction for iCloud still.

And I disagree that app driven file systems are more cumbersome. It's not in my opinion. A general user is going to remember more than he/she typed up that Pages document in Pages. The user is going to remember that he/she created that Garageband track in Garageband, etc. No need to drill down hierarchies of folders to find what you need.

But it isn't like Drop box is going away for power users that love to hang around forums and talk about this stuff. The choice is still there. But I strongly believe Apple was smart to simplify cloud services for the mass market. I doubt it would have reached this number of penetration if iCloud was just another Drop Box.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)