back to article Apple augments reality, tells you where to go

Apple has filed a patent application for putting a mash-up of augmented reality and turn-by-turn navigation onto your iPhone. The filing, entitled "Augmented reality maps", describes an enhancement of how iOS's currently combines the capabilities of the iPhone's location services–enabled Maps app with the device's internal …


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  1. John Tserkezis

    Hasn't this already been done?

    Or am I missing something...

    I recall a system still under development that used a separate GPS receiver and laptop with built in maps that was built for the purposes of "touristy" information,. and perhaps to automate and streamline the new student orientation at the university.

    This was well before hand-helds existed let alone had the power to numbercrunch this.

    The prototype was quite large, and was a huge backpack that consisted of a laptop and associated equipment along with the battery packs, and used a virtual-reality headset with built in camera to augment the video.

    Mind you, that hasn't stopped apple from patenting as its own, even if they had to steal it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Almost certainly.

      The company I work for was demoing an augmented reality thing like this that had specific points pop up on the screen with directions to them. Admittedly this was for private companies so, for example, it would allow workmen to find manholes easily.

  2. KjetilS

    Prior art?

    I don't think it will be difficult finding prior art on this one:

    1. Usually Right or Wrong

      Don't be silly

      Any prior art, no matter how old it is, is copying what Apple has just invented otherwise they would not be granted the patent and they will not be able to sue Garmin, Tom Tom, Thales etc.

    2. Craigness

      Apple = new

      This is Apple so it must be new. Their innovative combination of meat and vegetable in a pie also deserves a patent. Think how much better life would be if only one manufacturer could make pies with vegetables and meat in them!

    3. ratfox Silver badge

      Ah yes, but you see...

      Those do not use some key feature of this patent... Like the accelerometer. Or the rounded corners.

      Bottom line is, unless there is an existing app that does EXACTLY what is described in the submission, down to the last detail, then this can be patented.

      ...And after the patent is accepted, if a new app has ANY feature described here, then there is enough ground for a lawsuit. Or at least the lawyers will claim so.

    4. dotdavid

      Prior art

      Yep, I agree - probably plenty of prior art.

      But that's not really the game here.

      1) Register lots of patents, even if they're of dubious legitimacy.

      2) Patent office approves them or most of them.

      3) Sue everyone you can that you think can't afford to fight.

      4) Profit!

      A lot of this prior art will have been made by small firms who could never take on Apple in court. Hell, even Google until recently was having problems.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    It already exists!

  4. James 51 Silver badge

    File this under obivous

    Doesn't street view already cover this?

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Piss off Apple

    How about actually inventing something instead of stealing other peoples work and then passing it off as your own. Shame on the US patent office for allowing them to patent work done by other companies.

  6. Velv Silver badge



    There are already apps in the iStore for the iPhone and the iPad that do exactly this.

    Acrossair is one of them. Might not be identical, but sufficiently similar to prevent granting of this patent.

    Or are Apple planning to sue App developers usingna time machine?

  7. Fab De Marco

    Layar has been doing this since early Android

    Thank you KjetilS. I have had Layar on both the android phones I have owned. It has been done before and not just by layar.

    Yet more crazy patent talk. It needs to Stop really.

  8. Matt Brigden

    Pretty sure this is already on my sat nav app ....

    Yup its called RealityView and its turned off because its bloody annoying! . Driving down the road and up comes realityview to show me the names of shops and places to eat. Now thats amazing until I had this I had to rely on reading the shop signs with my old fashioned eyeballs .

  9. Adam T

    No airbags/retro thrusters

    How last year.

  10. dcd
    Thumb Down


    Been using Satellite AR on Android for yonks. Great app and free!

    Bugger off Apple!

  11. Andrew 66

    Is it me...

    ....or is this basically Google Maps Navigation, combined with Google Maps StreetView, and Google Googles? A combination that Google really should have done years ago...

    Of course, the imbeciles in the Google legal department probably forgot that they had to patent them, and probably thought that putting them together wasn't a great idea so couldn't be arsed patenting that either...

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Latest in...

    Apple patents waking up in the morning, having a dump and a cup of coffee; not necessarily in that order.

    1. Craigness

      A cuppa

      I do that but I drink tea. Will the iPologists tell me that it's basically the same as copying?

  13. Eradicate all BB entrants

    Thought so

    Bill Gates keynote demo ....... from 2008

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