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 …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    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?

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      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.

      1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

        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.

        1. jai
          Coat

          @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

          1. alwarming
            Thumb Up

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

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

        2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          >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.

      2. Robert E A Harvey

        1 thumb up & 1 thumb down

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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?

    2. Naughtyhorse
      Thumb Down

      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

    3. Anonymous Coward
      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

      1. mfraz
        FAIL

        Also seen

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

    4. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    5. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      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.

  2. SkippyBing Silver badge

    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....

    1. Ben Bonsall

      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!

    2. tryfan

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        NCIS

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Happy

          Money for old trope?

          <title>

      2. PatientOne

        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?

  3. trottel
    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...

    1. Disco-Legend-Zeke
      Pint

      And To Upload Tat...

      ...to eBay, you would punt it.

    2. farizzle
      Thumb Up

      +1

      for Winamp!!!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Huh?

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Unhappy

        First thing that comes to mind when you say pouring?

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

  5. Jdoe1
    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.

  6. Michael Langner
    Thumb Down

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    2. Robert E A Harvey

      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?

    3. johnnytruant

      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.

  7. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    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...

  8. jake Silver badge

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

    Dangerously stupid.

  9. Player_16

    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.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  11. Old Handle
    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.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Daniel 4
      FAIL

      Not a software patent

      See title.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    3. The Indomitable Gall

      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.

      1. jake Silver badge

        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 ...

    4. scarshapedstar
      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!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  13. JDX Gold badge

    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?

  14. LaeMing Silver badge
    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.

  15. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    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.

    1. Doug Glass
      Go

      Or every device ...

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

    2. Toastan Buttar
      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".

  16. George 24

    What a waste

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

  17. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    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).

  18. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    FAIL

    Pouring, flicking, blowing

    Thanks a bunch for improving on the spastic, ADD-enhancing experience.

    I can't wait to see all that gesturing in a crowded bus or metro. I am impatient to view just how many times a file will be transferred by a youngster who cannot understand that the transfer time is superior to the flick time.

    Thank goodness that all this nonsense will never actually translate into a user interface requirement. Data transfers are to be initiated in a controlled manner, via keyboard for proper targetting, authorization and exchange, not by randomly jerking a thingy around.

    Somebody keep the kids out of the workplace, please ?

  19. Kwac

    Prior art?

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

    1. Shonko Kid
      FAIL

      TED?

      I'm pretty sure I saw it on CSI Miami!

  20. Bob 18
    Facepalm

    Physics Education Disaster

    "Larger files might move more slowly when tipped towards the virtual opening, while smaller files might zip quickly through."

    If this becomes popular, it will become oh so much harder to teach kids in intro physics that all things fall at the same rate.

  21. Rab Sssss
    Devil

    I can't be the only one thinking

    That this is just a way of self important wankers helping advertise the fact by gesture

  22. Gannon (J.) Dick
    Mushroom

    Klein Bottles

    http://www.kleinbottle.com/drinking_mug_klein_bottle.htm

  23. Shonko Kid
    FAIL

    This is why US patents are bad

    Is there any hint of how these would actually be implemented? That may well involve some non obvious novelty, in the way devices would detect each others locations to such accuracy. But patenting the fact that a user can interact with some pixels, and what the pixels might look like?!? Puh-lease!

  24. St3n
    Thumb Up

    I can't wait...

    To see someone drop their iphone onto their ipad & crack the screen.. Or watching a gust of wind blowing their files to the wrong device :)

  25. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. Charles Manning

    DEC Itsy prior art

    Designed with an accelerometer specifically to do research into gesture based interfaces:

    http://www.hpl.hp.com/downloads/crl/itsy/index.html

    1. SuccessCase

      That's not prior art

      Though it is a highly typical example of the desire people seem to have to cite prior art where there is non. I suggest reading the article again and asking yourself what is different between what you have linked to and the patent application this arrticle relates to. The fact all the interactions on itsy take place on *one device* might give you a clue.

  27. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Bluetooth + NFC + accelerometer + pretty UI = patent

    Software patents are great, you take existing technologies and stick them together and you get a patent on it and everyone else is screwed.

    Can't be bothered to find it, but I remember not too long back some patent troll company in the US somewhere had the great idea of doing something obvious using wireless communication instead of wired communication and tried to sue everyone using mobile networks and Wifi.

    I thought the idea of good software design was to reduce complexity down into modules which work with each other to achieve greater/expandable/future functionality without having to change one whole monolithic block of code, yet software patents work directly against this principle.

    Anyway, Windows Phone 7 will get teh pretty file transfer first because it's in the N9. I'm sure Nokia or MS have got a patent on it and if they haven't they can cite prior art as they demonstrated it first.

    And in closing, as an iMac owner who's getting heartily sick of Apple's change in direction in recent years, I look forward to news of iDevices falling on the floor and breaking expensively as they accidentally fall out of people's hands when they repeatedly make that gesture which is second nature to the devoted who follow the Gospel of St. Jobs just to show off teh shiny to everyone else. In fact there'll have to be two devotees, It'll be mutual file transfer.

  28. Doug Glass
    Pint

    Like Pouring Beer?

    I'd have though since the subject mentioned is beer, the data transfer would be more closely related to a biological "drain down". But then I guess not everybody considers The Sacred J a prick.

    1. stuff and nonesense

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits

      All software patents are bad.

      IF they had been prevalent in the early 80s then Compaq would not have been able to procure a BIOS clone. PCs would have been IBM only. NO compatibles!

      Word Processors... Wordstar (?) only?

      Only one source of spreadsheet / database / presentations software?

      Doom (and ID derivatives) the only 1st person shoot 'em ups?

      Donkey Kong the only platform game?

      Copyright is fine. Copyright protects my code.

      Copyright allows the development of competing products.

      Going back to the BIOS..

      Guru 1 is tasked with the analysis of the input/output functions of the BIOS chip.

      Guru 1 writes a complete functional specification of the device - operation only - NO CODE.

      This is handed to Guru 2 and Guru 1 is removed from the operation completely. There is no direct contact between Guru 1 and Guru 2.

      Guru 2 codes the BIOS clone. The copyright is in tact.

      STOP SOFTWARE PATENTS!!!!!!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Avatar anyone

    Are Apple looking for 'unobtanium' next ?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Devil

    But i thought..

    mixing beer and iPhones was just a way of getting a new phone whilst still in contract? Apparently claims spike when Apple launch a new model.

  31. Darkwolf

    How to make profit:

    1. Put out two devices (iphone / ipad) and eventually realize that you have market saturation.

    2. Setup so that people can move one device towards another vertically to perform transfers.

    3. Watch as your users start dropping their iphones onto the ipads. Make sure its not covered under warantee.

    4. Profit.

  32. h4rm0ny

    Avatar

    It was done in Avatar where in the background someone pulls a screen off their desktop and onto a glass tablet like device.

    A very audible "Oooh" went up from all the computer people in the audience.

    It's just steam engine time. We have the available technology in place. Gesture / motion based data transfer is a logical consequence.

  33. TeeCee Gold badge
    WTF?

    Method for solving all your problems.

    1) Type your problem clearly on your iPhone.

    2) Kneel on floor, close eyes, hold phone above head in both hands and say; "Ommmmmmm".

    Your problem will be automatically sent to the inbox of St Steve, where it will immediately become not that big of a deal.....

  34. Tchou
    Stop

    Stop

    patenting diarrhea . Now.

  35. TRT Silver badge

    Pick it, lick it, roll it, flick it.

    Bogeys

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    A new transfer protocol

    The Apple Data-Fart, or the iFart for short...

    ...waft me over some files Henry!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Sounds...

    "Sounds could accompany the transfers, as well. Examples given in the filing include "the sound of liquid pouring, a tablet fizzing, gas through a valve, a sci-fi teleporter, or other sound that audibly represent the transfer of a material from one point to another."

    iFart too?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    heh

    I'm pretty sure I've seen this in an anime before.

  39. Rabbit80
    FAIL

    Prior Art

    http://experiments.instrum3nt.com/markmahoney/ball/#

    http://software2tech.com/2011/04/22/bump-transfer-files-between-android-and-apple-ios-devices-free/

    https://market.android.com/details?id=com.hottrix.ibeerfree&feature=search_result

    There are plenty of applications that perform each of the elements of this patent - just not much that does it all at once. Even so - this should not be awarded - putting together a few common ideas should not be patentable!

  40. takuhii

    Why?

    Why must apple patent everything they come up with?? If the people i worked for patented every idea they came up with, retailing would never move on...

    Wouldn't this type of patent infringe on apps like BUMP though??

  41. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    patent?

    http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~dmerrill/siftables.html

  42. tonysmith

    wii2

    doesn't that new wii2 or wii-u or whatever do this already?

    The whole flicking pictures from your little wii screen to your telly?

    It seems like a case of in Soviet Russia you eat the apple*, in America Apple eat YOU

    *if you can find apples in soviet russia?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft and surface

    Didnt microsoft show something like this a few years back with their surface display, draging documents from one device to another (but were set on the display), and remember reading somewhere that they also developed an app for the iThings, to have support for it.

  44. thesykes
    Thumb Down

    An improvement?

    Maybe I am getting hold of the wrong end of the stick, but...

    How is it an improvement in usability if, whilst transferring a large file between two devices, both those devices become unusable during the transfer? If one person has to stand and hold their iThing in the air, whilst the other is laid on the desk... how can either be used for anything else?

    Can't think of the last time I used a PC and it was unusable for other tasks whilst the file transfer chugged away in the background.

    This would be as useful as a phone that can't do anything during an install from the Appstore/Market/Wherever.

    As for flicking... how would that cope with a file flicked across an office with 5 devices all set to recieve and all within a naroww field? Would it be as accurate as attempting to throw a frisby to your kid, only for it to land on the shed, in the pond or over the fence?

    Also, how would the two devices know where they are in relation to each other? I'm no genius on such matters, but, I've not heard of any technology that can scan a room and identify the exact location of other phones. Perhaps someone can elnighten me on that one? Surely you'd need to use triangulation to pinpoint the location (GPS isn't accurate enough and doesn't work indoors reliably) ? If so, doesn't the proximity of the sensors affect their accuracy? On a phone there's only so much distance you can put between sensors, unless this comes with a couple of attennae you strap to your hands and wave in the air?

    So, assuming the location cannot be accurately identified, the "flick" is no more than dragging your finger off the screen in any direction and the phone pairing with another and transferring it. May as well just have a context menu pop up on dragging a file, offering the choice to bluetooth, email or sms it!

  45. Tatsky
    Joke

    Hawaii Five 'O Does it all the time

    They flick images from the big desk to screens, and put mobiles on the table and all the data just pours out.

    If you don't believe me you can Bing it.

    I get the feeling H5O is a big MS commercial.

  46. Tatsky

    OK, some possible issues

    What if I want to pour out only some of my files? Do I have to select the ones I want to pour first? if so, why wouldn't I just initiate a transfer as I pick the files.

    What if the file I am transferring is a large file? Do I need to maintain the Pouring Position for the entirety of the transfer? What if I get cramp and need to move? "Transfer Interrupted"

    Oh dear.

    The worrying thing here is that this seems more a patent on gestures between 2 devices. Surely as others have said, this will hinder competition and development of new/better products.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re possible issue

    isn't the point of a patent to hinder newer and better alternatives?

  48. Alan Denman

    pampered?

    Obviously the 'potty training' APP has already been released.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Title title title

    There are plenty of things like this that you could do and many end up in movies, just like nearly every computer in a film has to make a noise when processing something, or teletype text to the screen...

    The reason why a lot of the stuff doesn't make it into the real world is because someone stands back and says, "Why?"

    Pointless things are still pointless however glitzy and swish they may first appear. Cute animations and gesture motivated actions may be fun the first few times but quickly get tiresome - then you switch back to a couple of clicks and do things the quick way instead...

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    New idea

    Cool. I'm going to patent the "bar rag" interface for data recovery. Using this method, upon discovering missing or invalid data transfers, one wipes their iP[ao]d around in a circular motion, then flips it over and repeats the motion. Finally, the device is wrung out violently.

    ...to the patent office!

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Previous Art...

    I just saw the flick motion from a table top monitor to a wall monitor on a rerun of 'Hawaii 5-0'. Does that mean Apple should pay the shows effects department a royalty??? I could have sworn that this stuff was mentioned in a news story on a touch screen table microsoft was working with a few years back also. Seem to remember pictures being magnified by touching the corners and moving the fingers away. Also seem to remember the picture being moved with a flick of the wrist to another part of the screen.

  52. Fenwar
    Meh

    The whole point is...

    Apple surely don't think this is actually going to make their products more usable or intuitive.

    This is purely to make the next generation of products look fantastic on the TV ad, with two beautiful friends flicking photos to each other, the man on business trip blowing a picture of some flowers to his wife over the video call and the happy kids pouring their scribbles into the photo printer.

    Everyone is sufficiently wowed into upgrading from the current generation, and they use all these functions exactly once - while demoing their new toy to their friends - before turning them off because it's faster and easier to hit "send" like the rest of us...

    In the meantime Apple patents a multicoloured laser beam for directional data transfer between devices and the cycle continues.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Seriously

    Don't like software patents?

    Don't buy their products, or licensed counterparts,

    It's as simple as that. As long as you keep rewarding the practice, it'll continue and get stupidly out of hand (as it already appears to have done).

    Other than that, all you can do is try an educate the airheads that can't resist the precious shinies.

    If it was up to me I'd limit all patents to a ten year period, at most, in any case. That might reduce the rate of trite that serves only to stifle progress and fill legal pockets, whilst still allowing a significant innovation to recover development/research costs and make some profit.

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