Apple patent is for an universal interface for info retrieval
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Apple patent is for an universal interface for info retrieval

An Apple patent (number 20120166477) for an universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system has appeared at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. The invention provides convenient access to items of information that are related to various descriptors input by a user, by means of a unitary interface which is capable of accessing information in a variety of locations, through a number of different techniques.

Using a plurality of heuristic algorithms to operate upon information descriptors input by the user, the present invention locates and displays candidate items of information for selection and/or retrieval. Thus, according to Apple, the advantages of a search engine can be exploited, while listing only relevant object candidate items of information.

Here's Apple's sumary of the invention: "The present invention provides convenient access to items of information that are related to various descriptors input by a user, by means of a unitary interface which is capable of accessing information in a variety of locations, through a number of different techniques. Using a plurality of heuristic algorithms to operate upon information descriptors input by the user, the present invention locates and displays candidate items of information for selection and/or retrieval. Thus, the advantages of a search engine can be exploited, while listing only relevant object candidate items of information.

"In accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, methods and apparatuses for locating information in a computer system are described which receive an information identifier, locate at least one item of information based upon the information identifier by means of a plurality of heuristic algorithms each having a separate location scheme, provide at least one candidate information item, and display a representation of the information item.

"In accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention, methods and apparatuses for locating information in a computer system are described which input an information identifier, providing the information identifier to locate information in the plurality of locations which comprise the Internet and local storage media, wherein the information located matches the information identifier when applied to a plurality of heuristics, determining at least one candidate item of information based upon the plurality of heuristics, and displaying a representation of the candidate item of information.

"In yet another exemplary embodiment of the present invention, methods and apparatuses for displaying information in a computer system is described which includes inputting an information identifier, providing the information identifier to a plurality of heuristics in accordance with a global heuristic, wherein each information identifier is matched to information based upon the plurality of heuristics, receiving at least one candidate item of information based upon the information provided to the heuristics in accordance with the global heuristic, and displaying a representation of the candidate items of information."

The inventors are Yan Arrouye and Keith Mortensen.

 
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