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back to article Apple preps Jobsian magic wand

An Apple patent filing on Thursday reveals the company's plans for a cursor-controlling remote with more than a few tricks up its sleeve, and which may hint at the big-screen Apple television that has been the subject of many a rumor. Patent application #20090066648, entitled "GUI Applications for Use with 3D Remote Controller …

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Jobs Horns

Umm, Wii-mote?

Congratulations to Apple for trying to patent the Wii-mote. Maybe I missed some crucial difference?

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Stop

Eh?

So let me get this right in my head, apple has just filed to patent the wiimote and wii user interface?

Does the existence of the wii, wiimote, glovePIE/WIIremote not count as prior art?

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Anonymous Coward

whassup

i hereby declare that this is nothing more than a wiimote with apple logo...

thats all, nothing more here

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Can I be the first to say..

..prior art!

Surely this application just describes the Wii?

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Anonymous Coward

Oh god

Is that really Rick Astley in the first diagram there?

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Stop

Wii Remote patent?

Are they any patents on the Wii Remote? There looks like there is quite a lot of overlap...

Apple TV - their nice LED Cinema display is fantastic - but is exclusively for a MacBook. It shows they know how to make nice displays.

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Help!

Forgive my lack of understanding of the patent rules, but if this is basically an updated Wii controller then how does one gain a patent on it? Is it more about the implementation of the device than its design? I'm confused!

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Happy

Er, you can already do this with an iPhone or iPod Touch

'Remote Pad', a freebie from the App Store lets you use your iPhone as a trackpad and/or an 'air mouse' to wave your way through your mac or PC, or Linux box from the sofa using the accelerometers in the phone/iPod. Uses WiFi, and is actually pretty useful, especially for two finger scrolling, a la MacBook, on a desktop mac with no trackpad of its own. Did I mention that it is free? ;-)

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Unhappy

I'm struggling...

to see what this can do that the Wii Mote can't?

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aL
Jobs Horns

uh.. so an wiimote?

i sure hope nintendo doesnt let this one slide..

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Anonymous Coward

so..

.. its a tv controled by a wii remote then?

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Paris Hilton

So much for

Innovation, not one aspect of this device is innovative, it is a rehash of current technology with obvious enhancements. This is why the patent system is completely FUBARed, too much crap is given patent status where the basic device is a fairly obvious extension of prior art.

Efros

Paris cos she knows when something is the real deal.

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Stop

Nintendo?

There's almost nothing in there that isn't already implemented in the Wii, including that "dock" idea - just like Opera's toolbar on the Wii. About the only new thing is being able to rotate photos, and that would surely not qualify as non-obvious.

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Paris Hilton

Wasted Opportunity

Dear oh dear, they had so much scope for putting a hilarious half-typed film title in the diagram, yet they chose "SAVING PRIVATE RY[an]".

Now if I was in charge of the pencil and paper, I'd have gone for "A NIGHT IN PA".

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Anonymous Coward

"subject of many a rumor"

"...which may hint at the big-screen Apple television that has been the subject of many a rumor."

Think more than one link will be needed to substantiate that claim - this particular rumour hasn't been doing the usual rounds on forums, rumour sites etc. No doubt such a rumour has been discussed elsewhere, but nothing like the kind of buzz that this claim suggests.

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Where's the sensor bar?

I can see no reference to a Wiimote-like sensor bar. Maybe that will distinguish this of its obvious forerunner...

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Joke

Smells of Wii

Well someone had to say it.

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in patents as in life, less is more

I thought the idea of a patent is to fence off a claim. The more details you add, the less you are claiming. So maybe the sense lies in documenting enough small differences to get around the Wii patents, and fend off their lawyers?

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That's new

That's like WiiMote with LinuxMCE, combined together. Wait, LinuxMCE has been using it for quite a while already...

I call Bollocks!

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Stop

And the Logitech MX Air mouse ?

Not to mention the Logitech MX Air mouse.

"In the air, innovative Freespace™ motion sensing transforms hand motions into natural, responsive cursor controls. Sit back and listen to music, browse photos, or surf the Web—from your desk or across the room."

Talk about prior art !!

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Coat

Temporal Warp?

Are they planning to send this patent backwards in time?

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Jobs Horns

Obvious

Most of this 'patent' has already been covered by Nintendo along with others. the rest is an obvious evolution of existing technology and therefore the patent cannot be granted. As this is the good ol' US of A though, whats the betting it will be as they don't like the fact that the Japanese own something they don't.

Yet another reason why I will never buy Apple

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Prior Prior Art - Gyration Remotes and Mice

The gryration products can also do most of this, an they (as a company) pre-existed the WiiMote. They were a key developer and provider of IP for the Wiimote apparently.

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Paris Hilton

@Can I be the first...

You can't be first... but you can be next.

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Wiimote

You guys obviously still don't get how patents work. The novel feature isn't having a gadget with an accelerometer you can wave about, a la Wiimote, it's the application thereof to control a media centre (eg. zooming in to photos, or choosing songs to purchase from a music store). You need to read what the actual claims are.

As an example, supposing someone originally patented the idea of an infra red remote control for TVs. If you then had the idea of using an infra red remote to control the lights and air conditioning in a room instead, you'd be able to patent that as a novel application (and rightly so, if you were the first person to identify that as an opportunity before such technology was cheap and widely available). ALL patents build on other ideas that came before them in one way or another.

And don't forget the main reason for companies like Apple to try to patent these seemingly obvious extensions is to protect them from some opportunistic third party coming along and trying to patent this sort of thing themselves, ie. it's to ensure that Apple itself is allowed implement such a device, not necessarily to stop other people doing something similar. Then there are cross licensing deals. Perhaps such a device does indeed make use of some of Nintendo's technology, and the next version of the Wii lets you purchase songs from an online store. Apple and Nintendo would then simply cross-license their respective technologies to each other.

Also a small point but this patent was originally filed in provisional form in Sep 2007. Mar 2009 is just the publication date of the full application.

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Coat

"to be shipped for free"?

You'd need a strong El Reg reality distortion field for Apple to ship anything for free!

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Joke

Apple TV?

So we can expect it to cost 5x as much as every other HDTV and be incompatible with everything else you have in your living room - despite containing comodity components a la everything else apple makes?

"errrrrrr, but you pay the extra 15 billion dollars for your mac book because it's QUALITY not like that Dell rubbish".

Bollocks. Not with my own hard earned i won't be! No thanks i will stick with my sony\samsung and a $5 plug-in sensor like wii!

jokers!

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Seemingly obvious

Problem is the patent is not just seemingly obvious it is just obvious.

Efros

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Anonymous Coward

re: "to be shipped for free"?

Bruno,

I know tongue was in cheek, but in the UK, for orders over £66 (ex. VAT), Apple will ship for free. For orders under the amount, it charges a flat fee of £4.50 (ex.VAT).

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No TV from Apple

It's not Apple's fault the US patent system is broken. You've only got to look at the number of patent trolls pursuing litigation against Apple to know this kind of patent is required self-defence in the USA, especially when you have $28B in the bank for trolls to go after.

And there is no chance of Apple going into the big screen HDTV market. More likely, you will see a single chip incorporating Apple IP and network connectivity sold to any TV maker who wants to license it.

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Ted
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What is Apple supposed to do?

Not sure what solution you wankers suggest Apple to do in this situation?

If Apple doesn't patent this "method" someone else could come in and patent it, and expose Apple's wealth to a frivolous lawsuit. The US system works well, but it does require a company to continuously register patents so they "own" a process, method or technique.

It's just good business, that's all.

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Paris Hilton

@Rolf Howarth

"You guys obviously still don't get how patents work. The novel feature isn't having a gadget with an accelerometer you can wave about, a la Wiimote, it's the application thereof to control a media centre (eg. zooming in to photos, or choosing songs to purchase from a music store). You need to read what the actual claims are."

I can only assume you have never actually used a Wii and made your own character or navigated around the Wii menus or played Sims with rotations of items, zooming etc etc ad infinitum.

You might be surprised to learn that the Wii can also connect to the interweb thingy and do all sorts of stuff using that medium as well so how using a Wii to access online services like a shop selling music would infringe an Apple patent is beyond me, unless the concept of buying stuff online is now patentable!

Paris, because the monkey is flying the aeroplane in her world as well!

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Jobs Horns

@Ted - the w@nker

Apple should think up fresh ideas instead of just stealing others as they have done since loosing the edge many years ago.

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@Rolf

"You guys obviously still don't get how patents work. The novel feature isn't having a gadget with an accelerometer you can wave about, a la Wiimote, it's the application thereof to control a media centre (eg. zooming in to photos, or choosing songs to purchase from a music store)."

Yes, because no one with a Wii has ever used it for exactly those things. Ever. Oh, wait...

This patent application is garbage.

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@AC - @Ted

Apart from your ignorant anonymous input, try going on a basic spelling course. "Loosing" should be LOSING, as in LOSER (you). Or are you one of those who claim to be dyslexic because you can't spell properly or use the apostrophe correctly?

Who's the w@nker now?

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Jobs Horns

Um... reality check

@ Rolf-

You said: "And don't forget the main reason for companies like Apple to try to patent these seemingly obvious extensions is to protect them from some opportunistic third party coming along and trying to patent this sort of thing themselves, ie. it's to ensure that Apple itself is allowed implement such a device, not necessarily to stop other people doing something similar."

Last time I checked, patents were not so a company could do something, its so a company can keep others from doing it. Companies get patents so they can lock anyone else out of the idea unless they pay some ass high license. If you dont believe me, go read the details at the actual patent offices. (I did just to be clear on this).

Need I remind you about your precious Apple wanting to sue Palm becuase of Palm's new User interaction on the Pre? Yea, they have no problem with other companies doing something similar.

Sigh... You're apple fanboy status is becoming legendary.

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@BrynnBrenner. Oh dear ...

"Yea" ... A common misspelling of the word "yeah" which means "yes."

"You're" ... should read 'your' otherwise it means 'You are'.

Looking at your other writing leads me to think you may be American ... in which case it's not your fault but the fault of we British for not teaching you properly.

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@ Ascylto

Understood. The last resort when a person has lost an argument is to rely on personal attacks against the individual. Thanks for declaring my points un-arguable.

As to my grammar and spelling errors, I apologize. But regardless, My argument still stands, even with my poor grammar.

And in fact, I am British, albeit living in America. Don't act like our (UK) education is world class.

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