Several Apple patents involving the accelerometer and other deterministic methods of navigation of the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad have appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office.
Patent number 20100188331 is for methods and apparatuses for operating a portable device based on an accelerometer. According to one embodiment of the invention, a movement of a portable device is detected using an accelerometer attached to the portable device. An orientation of the portable device after the movement is determined based on movement data provided by the accelerometer. It is determined whether the portable device is held by a user after the movement based on the movement data provided by the accelerometer. Locations of the hands of the user for holding the portable device are determined based on the orientation of the portable device. At least one interface that is not within the predicted locations of the hands of the user is activated. The inventors are Paul J. Wehrenberg, Aaron Leiba, Richard C. Williams, David R. Falkenburg and Lous G. Gerbarg.
Patent number 20100188397 involves three dimensional navigation using deterministic movement of an electronic device. Per the patent an electronic device can load and provide an initial display of a three-dimensional model (e.g., of an environment or of an object). As the user moves the electronic device, motion-sensing components, positioning circuitry, and other components can detect the device movement and adjust the displayed portion of the three-dimensional model to reflect the movement of the device. By walking with the device in the user’s real environment, a user can virtually navigate a representation of a three-dimensional environment. In some embodiments, a user can record an object or environment using an electronic device, and tag the recorded images or video with movement information describing the movement of the device during the recording. The recorded information can then be processed with the movement information to generate a three-dimensional model of the recorded environment or object. The inventors are Richard Tsai, Andrew Just and Brandon Harris.
Patent number 20100188432 is for systems and methods for navigating a scene using deterministic movements of an electronic device. Per the patent, an electronic device can include a motion sensing component operative to detect movement of the electronic device (e.g., an accelerometer). The electronic device can display any suitable information, including information that is too large to display at a single instance on the display (e.g., a multi-page text document, or a large image). To view portions of the information that are not initially displayed (e.g., to scroll displayed information), the user can move the electronic device along the plane of the device. As the motion sensing component detects movement, the electronic device can scroll the displayed information to match the detected movement. In some embodiments, the electronic device can detect tilt movements and adjust the displayed information to reflect the tilted display. The inventors are Richard Tsai, Andrew Just and Brandon Harris.
Patent number 20100191356 involves methods and apparatuses for operating a portable device based on an accelerometer. According to one embodiment of the invention, it is determined whether a portable device is moving using an accelerometer. It is determined a moving pattern of the portable device based on movement data provided by the accelerometer. A media content is selected based on the moving pattern of the portable device. The selected media content is played via the portable device. Other methods and apparatuses are also described. The inventors are Paul J. Wehrenberg, Aaron Leiba, Richard C. Williams, David R. Falkenburg, Louis G. Gerbarg and Ray L. Chang.