The US Patent and Trademark office today released a flurry of 22 Apple patent applications, the most earth-shaking of which may rid the world of one of nightlife's most maddening menaces: off-key karaoke singers. We'll get to some of the others in a moment, but first: Methods and Systems for Providing Real-Time Feedback for …
Don't Rock Back/Guitar Hero do this already?
Karaoke feedback is hardly new
The Karaoke Revolution games for various consoles (Gamecube, PS2) fulfill this need quite well, though it's hard to tell if Apple's going for consoles on this one. The feedback indicator might be different as well, been awhile since I last tried to ruin Dust in the Wind via my Wii. Would this be considered prior art or does it not compete? Patents these days can seem so all-encompassing.
My megaphone allows me to share the karaoke experience with all Reg readers.
And with that did The Great Apple conquer the land of Genghis Khan, and beyond.
Games already do this
Aren't there singing video games that already do this? I'm not sure how picky Rock Band or Guitar Hero is, but I thought I saw friends playing something that was purely singing base, and it was rather picky on pitch.
They are stretching the definition of "non-obvious" even more every day.
"# provide audio touchscreen feedback for either visually impaired users or those involved in don't-look-now activities such as driving;
# equip a broad range of electronic devices with interface elements that communicate using tactile feedback including vibration, heat, and electrical signals;"
These two will be best merged into a "burning and electrocution of drive-n-play road cowboys". As a standalone tech, the second is much more compelling. One just have to hope that the iBOFH application I'm about to write, and which will take full advantage of these new "electric shock" and "burn" capabilities, won't be booted from the store. There'll be a free "receiving" app for lusers to install, and I might charge a small fee for BOFH or helldesk people who wish to install the full-fledged "command" app. Oh, and it won't be possible to remove the "receiving" app once installed. Sounds good?
OK why does it seem like Apple is becoming more and more like a patent troll with each of these filings? Prior art surely. I cant think of how many people who start singing and get told to shut the fuck up or the will be shut up for sounding like a drowned cat while singing. Surely that should count as prior art. . .
On a side though:
* detect when batteries are swelling prior to failure;
Now I will say why didn't I think about this one? Actually a rather decent idea and I don't recall ever hearing about it being attempted or done before.
* equip a broad range of electronic devices with interface elements that communicate using tactile feedback including vibration, heat, and electrical signals.
Doesn't the iPhone already do this? Someone calls, vibration? Check. Using the iPhone and it begins heating up so much to burn you? Check. Alerting you that there is a lightning storm in your area by accepting the lightning strike and saving your life? Check.
Why would they need to patent something that is as obvious as those reasons I just listed :P
/Im off to the bar
It's called SingStar.
Although I don't know whether Singstar is the first system to do this. Next they'll be trying to patent the wheel.
If Apple had a brain ....
Then they would know like most of us Kj's that all karaoke scoring systems suck and can be easily skewed . Theres only one way to gauge a song and thats front and centre with a mic in your hand . Now if they produced an auto turret that automatically identified and gunned down anyone that uses singstar as a practice aid then Id be buying my first Apple product lol .
RF power amplifiers?
Hopefully to sterilize any off-key karaoke singers! That will provide feedback through genetics. By 2570 all karaoke will be on-key.
At first it looked like this was a patent on taking a good iWank(tm).
Well... these three are already done by Windows Mobile:
# provide audio touchscreen feedback for either visually impaired users or those involved in don't-look-now activities such as driving;
# allow an electronic device to issue specific user-selectable commands in response to your fingerprints; and
# seamlessly and transparently switch phone calls on the fly between cellular and VoIP services.
detect when batteries are swelling prior to failure
In other words device to lie to you so you get a another cack battery installed sooner. If it happens before warranty expiration they claim its a consumable and to cough up more money. Here is a message for Apple and other electronics companies. Stop calling it a fucking consumable if i cant change it myself without having to undo more than one screw. How about this patent instead,
Design for putting a decent battery in the device in the first place
Apple - Designed in California, Battery bought from Poundland
Singing in the shower
I suppose that next The Boys From Cupertino will be patenting a method and system to improve ones' singing in the shower (msiosits)? Of course, their next blockbuster device will be the iSingAlong Personal Karaoke System...
I would have patented this 15 years ago when I had the idea if I didn't think it was ridiculously obvious.
Apple: How are you gentlemen? All your karaoke feedback measurements are belong to us.
Sony's Singstar dev team: We can haz prior art?
"seamlessly and transparently switch phone calls on the fly between cellular and VoIP services."
Oh you mean this?
I've also got a bloody great document kicking around somewhere all about this technology , must of downloaded it a good year or two ago...
Try inventing something instead of patenting other peoples ideas....
I think they need to combine it with something along the lines of a taser, so if you're too far off-key you'll receive a good jolt to encourage you to shut up.
Why not just...
... add a Taser attachment.
THAT would stop people singing off-key...!!
Don't Apple know that correlation and pitch detection have been sed in audio DSP for years?
Correlation == radar/sonar
Pitch Detection? I refer my learned colleague to a small company called Antares with a product known as AutoTune
If putting those together is an 'invention' then that's sooo lame. It's pretty bloody obvious.
At this moment I am preparing a patent application to add a small 1:10000 turns ratio transformer and a pair of electrodes to the headphone output of the iPhone - this will get the bastards singing in tune by issuing a sharp 5kV "corrective" hint to them if they go off-key.
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