February 23, 2012
The US Patent and Trademark Office today announced the publication of a series of Apple patent applications for technologies that could arrive in future products or software updates. The new filings include one for a DJ-Styled feature for Macs and iOS devices, as well as those for 3D motion technologies, among others, according to Patently Apple. The most significant of these applications is one for a new method for crossfading between audio streams. In its current form, crossfading between songs via iTunes takes place as one audio stream ends and another begins. In turn, this provides a transition of a few seconds between streams. For example, via iTunes on a Mac, the crossfading functionality is setup by selecting iTunes > Preferences > Playback. From there, users may chose from between 1-12 seconds of crossfading between songs. Similar functionality may be performed on an iPhone/iPod touch and iPad through third party apps. In the future, according to Apple’s patent filing, crossfading would be performed using a beat-matched, DJ-style crossfade by detecting and matching beats in the audio streams.
For example, such a method may involve determining beat locations of a first audio stream and a second audio stream and crossfading the first audio stream and the second audio stream such that the beat locations of the first audio stream are substantially aligned with the beat locations of the second audio stream.Another patent application is for 3-D motion technology that may be used in future versions of Apple’s Magic Mouse or TV remote. The technology involves an advanced navigation system used for gaming or television controls and/or personal computers.
Apple describes a future magic mouse and method for correcting errors in acceleration due to a deviation from a horizontal plane of motion by correcting for gravitational acceleration components due to the deviation in the plane of motion.Finally, another application proposes a dual image sensor system for cameras on future iDevices. The new image processing system would include control circuitry that would determine whether a device is operating a single or dual sensor mode. As such:
“When operating in the single sensor mode, data may be provided directly to a front-end pixel processing unit from the sensor interface of the active sensor. When operating in a dual sensor mode, the image frames from the first and second sensors are provided to the front-end pixel processing unit in an interleaved manner.”These are interesting filings. In particular, the new crossfading technique looks promising, depending on how it is implemented. Do you have any favorites from this list of patent applications? Any you find bemusing?