Apple patents cover gradients, index processing, product design
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Apple patents cover gradients, index processing, product design

Apple has been granted patents for a variety of items, including the design of the original iPod and iPod touch. Summaries of each are below.

Patent number 7782337 involves multi-conic gradient generation. Disclosed is a technique for computing a complex gradient using multiple conics. In connection with a computer system having a graphics processing unit (GPU) in addition to the normal central processing unit (CPU), gradients can be computed in real time. The conics may be rendered and adjusted in a number of ways, providing a rich palette for creation of gradient graphics. The computational efficiency of the algorithms disclosed herein, when executed on typical GPU hardware, allows rendering frame rates high enough to provide animated gradient images. The inventors are Mark Zimmer and Ralph Brunner.

Patent number 7783589 is for inverted index processing. Systems and methods for improving indexing are described. In one exemplary method, a 2-level table is used to improve performance when searching an index. A first table contains a subset of more frequently occurring terms and a second and larger table contains terms that occur rarely, with the first table optimized for updating and the second table optimized for searching. The second table is searched only when a search of the first table is unsuccessful. Other methods are described and data processing systems and machine readable media are also described. The inventors are John Martin Hornkvist, Eric Richard Koebler, Wayne Loofbourrow, Yun-chih S. Li and Yan Arrouye.

Patent number 7782307 is for maintaining activity after contact liftoff or touchdown. Apparatus and methods are disclosed for simultaneously tracking multiple finger and palm contacts as hands approach, touch, and slide across a proximity-sensing, multi-touch surface. Identification and classification of intuitive hand configurations and motions enables unprecedented integration of typing, resting, pointing, scrolling, 3D manipulation, and handwriting into a versatile, ergonomic computer input device. The inventors are Wayne Carl Westerman and John G. Elias.

Also, Apple has been granted design patents for the original iPod (patent number D622,261) and the iPod touch (D622,270). Finally, Apple has been granted a patent (7,782,317) for Shake, a digital compositing and visual effects application that Apple has discontinued.


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