Apple patents involve iChat, iPod user interface, more
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Apple patents involve iChat, iPod user interface, more

Apple has been awarded several patents from the US Patent & Trademark Office. They involve, among other things, iChat and the iPod user interface.

Patent number 7,669,134 is for a method and apparatus for displaying information during an instant messaging session. This is, obviously, the iChat patent.

A method and an apparatus are provided for controlling a graphical user interface to display information related to a communication session. Information relating to data produced by a first participant to the communication session is displayed on a first display unit, wherein the information produced by the first participant is displayed at a first position on the first display unit. Data is received from a second participant to the communication session, and information relating to the data received from the second participant is displayed on the first display unit, wherein the information received from the second participant is displayed at a second position on the first display unit. The first and second positions are horizontally spaced apart. The inventors are Gregory N. Christie, Peter T. Westen, Stephen O. Lemay and Jens Alfke.

Patent number 7,667,124 is for a graphical user interface and methods of use thereof in a multimedia player. In a portable multimedia device, a method, apparatus, and system for providing user supplied configuration data are described. In one embodiment, a hierarchically ordered graphical user interface are provided. A first order, or home, interface provides a highest order of user selectable items each of which, when selected, results in an automatic transition to a lower order user interface associated with the selected item. In one of the described embodiments, the lower order interface includes other user selectable items associated with the previously selected item from the higher order user interface. The inventors are Jeffrey L. Robbin, Steve Jobs, Timothy Wasko, Greg Christie and Imran Chaudhri.

Patent number 7,669,145 is for a multi-repository system using separate presentation, adaption and access layers. A software object display system using an adaptation layer to obtain information concerning a number of software objects is described. The adaptation layer communicates to a presentation layer which produces a display for the software objects. The adaptation layer isolates the presentation layer from the details of the structures of the software objects to be displayed. The adaptation layer provides a standard set of data to the presentation layer for the presentation layer to display. The inventors are Yan Arrouye, San J. Findley and Keith L. Mortensen.

Patent number 7,660,113 is for media stream synchronization using device and host clocks. A synchronization manager synchronizes multiple media streams. The synchronization manager queries a media stream output device associated with each media stream to synchronize, and in response receives the current device clock time of each device, each device's next available media stream output time, and each device's delta between available media stream output times. The synchronization manager uses this timing information to determine an earliest available media stream output time common to each media stream output device, and synchronizes the output of the media streams by providing each stream to its associated output device at the earliest available common output time. The inventors are Jeff Moore, Jean-Michel Berthoud and Tim Cherna.

Patent number 7,669,130 is for dynamic real-time playback. Systems and methods for previewing edited video. In general, in one implementation, a method includes generating a video sequence from a plurality of video segments, identifying an inability to output at least one video segment in the video sequence in substantially real time; and adjusting an output level associated with the at least one video segment to enable the at least one video segment to be output in substantially real time. The output level may include a video quality or a frame rate. The inventors are Sachin Agarwai, Giovanni Agnoli and Brian Everett Meaney.

Patent number 7,668,099 involves the synthesis of a vertical blanking signal. A method of controlling transmission of data from a computer to a video client via an interface device, comprising: reading a register on the interface device to obtain a value indicating temporal proximity to an occurrence of a vertical blanking interval occurs, the value increased incrementally until a vertical blanking interval occurs, and then being reset; deriving a time value, the time value indicating the occurrence of a vertical blanking interval; sending an interrupt to a processor on the computer at the occurrence of the vertical blanking interval; and invoking code in response to an occurrence of the video blanking interval. The inventors are Giovanni M. Agnoli, Andrew Yanowitz, John O. Abt, Samuel R. Bowman, James A. Delwiche and Jeffrey C. Dillon.

Patent number 7,668,240 is for a method and apparatus for variable accuracy inter-picture time specification for digital audio encoding. Specifically, the present invention discloses a system that allows the relative timing of nearby video pictures to be encoded in a very efficient manner. In one embodiment, the display time difference between a current video picture and a nearby video picture is determined. The display time difference is then encoded into a digital representation of the video picture. In a preferred embodiment, the nearby video picture is the most recently transmitted stored picture. For coding efficiency, the display time difference may be encoded using a variable length coding system or arithmetic coding. In an alternate embodiment, the display time difference is encoded as a power of two to reduce the number of bits transmitted. The inventors are Barin Geoffry, David William Singer, Adriana Dumitras and Atul Puri.

Patent number 7,668,244 involves a method and apparatus for increasing data transfer rates through a communication channel. The system examines the state of a bit that was previously received on the channel. If the state of the previously received bit was high, the system looks for a falling edge while receiving a subsequent bit on the channel. Otherwise, the system looks for a rising edge while receiving the subsequent bit on the channel. While looking for a rising edge or looking for a falling edge, the system samples a signal on the channel at discrete time steps within a symbol interval, wherein the symbol interval is a time period during which the signal can change states. The specific discrete time step at which the signal changes state is associated with a specific decoded output symbol. Note that the signal can also convey information by not changing states. Also note that not all symbols require the same time to be transmitted, because some symbols can be associated with signal transitions that happen sooner, whereas other symbols can be associated with signal transitions that happen later. The inventor is William P. Cornelius.

Patent number 7,668,894 is for the computation of power functions using polynomial approximations. A power function is approximated over an applicable data interval with polynomials determined by means of a Chebyshev minimax approximation technique. In some cases, multiple polynomials may be used to approximate the function over respective ranges of the desirable interval, in a piecewise manner. The appropriate polynomial that approximates the power function over the range of interest is derived and stored. When the power function is to be applied to a particular data value, the data value is first evaluated to determine where it lies within the applicable interval. The constants for the polynomial associated with that range of the interval are then retrieved and used to calculate the power of that data value. The inventors are Ali Sazegari and Ian Ollmann.


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