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Apple granted iChat patents


Apple has been granted two patents by the US Patent & Trademark Office for its iChat audio and video conferencing app. Patent number 7,864,209 is for audio processing in a multi-participant conference.

Some embodiments provide an architecture for establishing multi-participant audio conferences over a computer network. This architecture has a central distributor that receives audio signals from one or more participants. The central distributor mixes the received signals and transmits them back to participants. In some embodiments, the central distributor eliminates echo by removing each participant’s audio signal from the mixed signal that the central distributor sends to the particular participant. Hyeonkuk Jeong and Ryan Salsbury are the inventors.

Patent number 7,865,834 involves a multi-way video conference user interface. A videoconferencing application includes a user interface that provides multiple participant panels, each of which is displayed with perspective with the panels appearing to be angled with respect to the user interface window. The participant panels display live video streams from remote participants. A two-way layout provides two participant panels for two remote participants, each of which is angled inwardly towards a center position. A three-way layout provides three participant panels for three remote participants, with a left, center and right panel, with the left and right panels angled inwardly towards a center position. The inventors are Marcel van OS, Peter T. Westn and Imran A. Chaudhri.

— Dennis Sellers

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