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back to article Apple patent: 'Pour' your data from iPhone to iPad

One day, if Apple follows through on work embodied in a recent patent application, you'll be able to "pour" data from your iPhone into an iPad lying on a table below it. Or, with the flick of the wrist, you'll "throw" photos and videos from your iPod touch onto your desktop Mac's display. Or you'll gently blow a file to a close …

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Well...

at least they're non-obvious... Cause, none of those gestures are the least bit intuitive. And that's the least of the problems with those.

The next follows from the last paragraph: "The user can first put the device in a transfer state using touch or other input" Then why bother with the gestures? Instead of setting a transfer state, just do the transfer.

Perhaps the biggest problem with this patent is, how do they manage to determine which device to transfer to? And how do they do so without being a massive security breach?

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at least they're non-obvious.

Fair. I actually think it is quite clever, and in so far as it is an idea and not an algorith don't really mind it being patentable.

What I don't understand is the idea of patenting the gesture, as well as the idea. The shape I make with my hands is my affair.

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I agree with R Harvey

I think some of the ideas are good.

Great ideas, in fact, Apple, but patent gestures? Fuck me sideways, don't tell me I'll have to pay apple now each time I pull a pint. And I can tell you I don't pull half bad ones.

Tell me this now seeing as I'm no lawyer.

If Apple patent some of these ideas, and assuming my smartphone has the hardware and I write software to do pretty much the same thing and give it away FREE, can I be taken to court for anything at all? (Assuming release under my real identity)

I know that must seem like a fairly basic question, but honestly, I don't know the answer to it.

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jai
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@sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

> Fuck me sideways

careful, unless you can clearly demonstrate an example of prior-art, someone's probably got a patent on that gesture and will come looking for an out of court settlement

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less obvious

what abour DRM - apple being famous for having an 'all your data are belong to us' attitude could never live with this blatant backdoor for people to share stuff.... without paying a levy to apple.

it will never happen

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1 thumb up & 1 thumb down

I appear to have been awarded a gesture. Anyone know what it causes to happen?

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>can I be taken to court for anything at all

No, unless you actually *use* it.

State-guaranteed monopoly does not preclude you to actually build what someone else has put on paper during a toilet break, but once you did all the hard work and possibly went to market, the next step is paying up.

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"will come looking for an out of court settlement" @jai

Or, will come looking for a behind the court settlement.

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Boffin

flick of the wrist, you'll "throw" photos ...

Been there, done that. Markspace's Fiq products have been doing that for years. Another Apple "innovation" stolen from someone else who didn't file on it.

http://www.markspace.com/products/fliq/index.html

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Anonymous Coward

Even though I dislike Apple...

Haptics are a great idea, but rather undermined by having to press a button first! If they can do away with that and develop an entirely reliable gesture-based system... good on 'em.

Although I can't but help think that frantically patenting gestures isn't going to help them become anything more than niche and is once again an attempt to lock-in users to Mac, in the same was as patenting a disk 'save' icon or a double-left click would have made computing -as a whole- far less universally cross-platform friendly.

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Holmes

@ AC to exclude Prior Art.

They include the gestures to 1) make it non-obvious and 2) to exclude prior art where HP and the Web tablet and phones are able to communicate by touching them together.

In fact one nice feature is that the Palm Pre (whichever is their latest model) and the Tablet are able to work in conjunction with each other. You can make and receive calls from the tablet when its in proximity of your phone.

I also believe this to be true of the data access (3G) so that you don't need two contracts as long as you have your phone with you when you use your tablet. (Which is probably all the time.)

So someone in Apple wants to apply for a patent to puff up their resume. Big deal.

The sad thing... it will actually get approved.

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Anonymous Coward

Thumbs ...

"I appear to have been awarded a gesture. Anyone know what it causes to happen?"

Its a quantized random number generator that flips a boolean value. You didn't ever think it was ever actual *people*, did you?

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FAIL

Also seen

This has also been shown in the promo video for Nintendo's WiiU.

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Yeah, but no but yeah

I'm sure I've seen this on TV and that film with Tom Cruise, you know flicking things from screen to screen. Or can you patent things you've seen on TV now, if so I've got this great idea for this thing where loads of people pay me a pound to select some numbers and one of them gets some of the money back....

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heh

Normally movie studios have to design outlandish interfaces for their computers to avoid having to license anything ("I know this... it's a unix system..."), now a movie studio gets to chase apple for stealing its idea!

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Stargate Atlantis

They did it all the time; swiping data and even processes from screen to screen - especially nice when they dumped something from a big screen to a small, pad-like unit. (Or vice versa).

Similar things have been done in other shows, but it was very nicely done in SA. Obviously, iSteve is a fan.

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Anonymous Coward

NCIS

Did the swiping from one screen to another also. It does seem to be quite an old trope.

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Happy

Money for old trope?

<title>

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and more....

Avatar: In the control room people were using hand gestures to move readouts onto slates and carrying them around.

Minority report: Moving readouts around by gesture.

I think Payback also had gesture controls for displays. And I'm sure I've seen someone mimic screwing up a report and throw it at a virtual bin. All on film or TV.

So... where did Apple get the idea from? And how isn't it obvious if film and TV peeps have come up with it already?

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Coat

brilliant

All the things it could do... you

- drop it and all your images are broken, your mp3s scratched...

- whirl it around a few times and it gets tipsy: you move your finger right and it "feels" left...

- just shake it and all folders will get randomly rearranged

- move two fingers in different direction will rip a document in half -> no more shredder needed

But why only do that to the complete device? Extend the ideas to single files.

-Grab a file with the mouse and really really shake it: forces spell-checking on the file and "drops" all spelling error in a cute little heap on the screen.

- Desktop DJ: "scratch" mp3s by dragging them over each other or rubbing them on winamp.

- Concatenate files by "docking" on on the other on the desktop...

- Mash up new applications by fusing their icons together: drag ms word into firefox and get FireWord - cloud word processing solved.

The possibilities...

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Pint

And To Upload Tat...

...to eBay, you would punt it.

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+1

for Winamp!!!

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WTF?

Huh?

This stuff is way over my head. Can someone explain to me what this has to do with beer?

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Pint

Pouring liquid = beer

The first concept was pouring data from one device to another. Given that this is The Register, it's obvious isn't it? When you think of pouring, what's the first liquid that springs to mind?

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Unhappy

First thing that comes to mind when you say pouring?

Rain of course but I am British and it is summer.

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Joke

Speaking of patents.

I just put one in for a Tiddlywink game using used microSD cards. Still need to figure a way to automatically keep score when they card land on the screen.

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Bump?

This really reminds me of Bump, which is a handy piece of software. And Hawaii 5-0 (the new series) where they would just flick images from their phones/tablet PCs onto the big screens in the office.

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Anonymous Coward

Because this is Bump.

The core of the patent is the same process, the rest is just pretty animations (which, dear gods, are not yet patentable in the States).

If this gets, it will be another demonstration of USPTO's incompetence.

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Boggle

My wife plays electronic boggle with ye grandkids.

Little separate single-letter lcd tiles that all interact by position on the tabletop.

Prior art?

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it's not just Bump

Also Hoccer. Hoccer lets you throw, slide and flick data between devices. Gesture or accelerometer controlled.

But Apple have never been one to let anything so boring as prior art get in the way of a patent application.

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FAIL

Aye, more interface pretties

To get in the way of doing work. First thing to turn off when I install an OS. Another reason to avoid...

One question - for the 'blowing' metaphor to work, the device needs to know not only its own exact position and orientation, but the exact spatial locations relative to it of everything which can accept its files. Which implies *everything* has to know its location and advertise it regularly - lots of back and forth messages saying 'here I am, where are you?'. Well, we didn't want that bandwidth to transmit *data*, did we?

I predict we won't be seeing that one in the near future.

At least the 'pouring' thing is easy to implement with near field communications - but it still leaves the issue of the sender selecting the files beforehand and the receiver working out what to do with them afterwards.

Though I do have an entertaining image of a boardroom full of executives all blowing kisses at each other...

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I think the phrase all y'all are looking for is:

Dangerously stupid.

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Microsoft did something similar...

...with that big-ass table table of theirs. Someone placed a camera on top and it 'sucked' the photos out and like 'spilled' underneath the camera ready to be sorted - which was kinda cool.

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Anonymous Coward

Also...

I think that there is an app for WP7 that allows you to flick pictures to other devices. I saw it featured in the marketplace a while back, if I recall correctly. I never bothered to download it but did think it looked fairly cool.

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Boffin

Intuitive?

It's cute, but I would argue that anything "intuitive" is by definition not patentable. In other words, maybe you can patent controlling a device by waving the whole thing around (although I still hate that kind of patent), but I assume that's already been done, maybe even by Apple. But if you want to expand on that, you have to add something that isn't obvious. And if it's truly intuitive, it would necessarily be obvious.

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Anonymous Coward

It's not just the method,

but the implementation that's being patented here. The diagrams are the tiniest bit to help us visualise this implementation. And if it were too easy and obvious to implement, why hasn't it made it's way to other OSs?

It'll be interesting to see when/whether this makes it into Apple devices and, if so, how well it works out. I found the zoom-in/-out gestures for iOS to be counter-intuitive at first, but now they seem natural enough and they've certainly worked well for the masses.

Yet again, Apple is pushing the envelope when it comes to the UI, while others are still trying to create as smooth a UI experience as iOS's.

Yet again, some commentors at this site criticise first, think later. It's almost like they're competing for a prize.

Ding! You won.

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Why hasn't it made it's way to other OSs?

Hardware limitations.

You might as well declare that voice recognition was non-obvious in the 1960s comp sci world simply because it hadn't been done.

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Pint

Oh yeah?

Patent #37281372189

A method for trimming pubic hairs using a mobile device.

Nobody asked for it, and you might never see it, but stick that in your envelope and smoke it. Innovation!

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Indeed, TiG ...

"You might as well declare that voice recognition was non-obvious in the 1960s comp sci world simply because it hadn't been done."

As we all know, Star Trek had the concept of voice recognition computers in the mid-sixties ... and a lot of "Golden Age" SciFi did, too, back in the 1940s and '50s. The concept of "talking machines" goes back a LOT further, though ... See "Rossum's Universal Robots", for a start, and then look up the concept of "golem".

On the other hand, I question your "hardware limitations" comment ... My early 1980s C64 did voice recognition in the RealWorld[tm]. The unit in the car would unlock the doors, trunk (boot) & hood (bonnet), start and stop the car, operate the headlights and turn signals, turn on and off the radio and CB, and adjust the volume of both, operate the wipers, and sweep the windshield-washer squirter to irrigate the glass and/or passers-by, all on voice command.

The fact that I stopped playing with computers in cars (other than engine management) around thirty years ago, and why, is probably more of a story than the OA ...

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Trollface

patentable

I agree... I think they should get a patent for polishing someone else's turd, but only if it's for the method of the polishing and the displaying of said turd.

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Anonymous Coward

Why Patents for software are stupid

Yet another example of why patenting software is stupid.

This type of patent doesnt protect anything, other than job / career security for patent lawyers. It does nothing more than stifle innovation and reward monopolisation. Pretty ironic for a system designed to encourage innovation / research by protecting income generated by same.

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FAIL

Not a software patent

See title.

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Go

Just waiting for...

...some numpty to accidentally leave their phone in pour mode when they re-pocket it and shortly thereafter tip all their data into a near-by journo's device.

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Go

Or every device ...

... they walk past. Oh well, should make for interesting tablod reading.

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JDX
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rude

"with the flick of the wrist" - are you suggesting Apple users are good at wrist gymnastics?

Anyway didn't MS already do this on the Surface?

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Paris Hilton

rude++

The first thing I thought when I read "flicking" was "flicking the bean". And when it was in the same sentence as "tossing", well I immediately went into Finbar Saunders mode.

K-Snick, K-Snick

To paraphrase Clive Anderson, "Well, iPhans will always be tossers to me".

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Coat

So Apple will be suing the Pubs then?

How is this non-obvious? Cute, I'll give you that - but non-obvious?

OK - if you think this is non-obvious and thus patentable - here's my "work-around" for the "patent" - a small, but well formed tit is drawn on the screen - using multi-touch, the user squeezes the titty to direct the stream of data towards the desired device. Cue visual effects.

Come to think of it, we'll add a "lads" option ... I'll leave that to your imagination.

OK, I'm off to the post office to file my patent application.

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What a waste

of processing power. It is useless, but if Apple sells it, it will be a hit.

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Done already

Nokia's N9 has a really simple, intuitive way of sending things to other devices. Tap "Share", then touch your phone to the recipient phone, and hey presto, they have it.

... assuming both devices have Bluetooth and NFC.

The NFC interface provides the pairing information, and then Bluetooth does the media transfer, but it's automatic, so it just seems like "magic". I'm a big fan of Bluetooth exchange anyway (it's one reason why I never considered an iPhone), but this makes it the whole process incredibly natural.

Proximity provides the security - you have to be within 2-3 cm of the receiver, and you have to have just initiated a "share via NFC" process. The "Pouring" metaphor in this patent is a bit silly by comparison (and that's the best of the gestures).

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Prior art?

Wasn't this displayed on TED about 3 years ago?

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