Print 22 comment(s) - last by Diesel Donkey.. on Apr 27 at 3:31 PM

A before an after image from Apple's new patent shows how the interface will enlarge text for easier reading and navigation when the user is in motion  (Source: Apple Insider)

The icons will also be enlarged, allowing the user to be able to click them more easily.  (Source: Apple Insider)

The new video camera, labeled 180, could pop up in the next generation iPhone handset, allowing video chat and video-centric games. Some are speculating that it could even be included in a potential hardware release later this year.  (Source: Apple Insider)
Third generation or fourth generation iPhones appear poised to deploy some interesting technologies

With the impending release of the iPhone OS v3.0, speculation about a possible third generation iPhone hardware release is also growing; after all, both of Apple's past iPhone OS releases were accompanied by new handsets.  When it comes to the new handset, there’s plenty of room for improvement -- more memory capacity, faster processor, better camera, and perhaps a faster network connection.

The more interesting questions are what other hardware surprises the new iPhone handset could have in store.  After all, despite its revolutionary software interface, the phone lags behind competitors in some hardware areas -- such as the quality of its camera and lack of video support.

Two new patents from Apple hint that the company may have some new hardware up its sleeve according to Apple Insider.  The first patent discusses interfaces to be used while the person is in motion.  This patent calls for new motion based gestures that would allow you to navigate the phone intuitively without seeing it, using actions such as a flicking the phone.  The interface could be useful for people who use their iPhones while jogging or driving, allow them to make calls or change music with minimal distraction.  Apple says that onscreen or bezel buttons could help decide the input mode and eliminate unintentional commands during normal use.

Another patent from Apple just published leaks even more beans.  It shows an OS interface that detects motion -- such as walking and jogging, and resizes its interface to larger size buttons and font, to make selecting items easier.  But the really interesting tidbit is the inclusion of a front facing video camera in the iPhone drawings.

The new camera could allow video chat on the next generation iPhone, opening up a whole new mode of communications.  It could also be leveraged by game developers to create interesting new games with user video interaction, similar to Nintendo's short-lived GameBoy Camera, or Sony's Eye Toy (PS2)/Eye (PS3).  The new camera is positioned along the iPhone's centerline, at the top of its screen.

While, Apple files scores of patent applications, many of which never see their way into actual hardware releases, this one seems promising given its time frame.  The patent was filed November 2007, and just granted, meaning that Apple may have had enough time to incorporate video hardware into the new iPhone.

Certainly there are no promises of when the new iPhone hardware will arrive, but logic dictates that a handset update is inevitable, given the iPhone's broad commercial. 

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Looking forward to it...
By crimson117 on 4/16/2009 11:27:44 AM , Rating: 5
that would allow you to navigate the phone intuitively without seeing it, using actions such as a flicking the phone.

I'd really appreciate this feature. If there's one thing I miss from my old cheapo LG flip phone, it's being able to speed dial a number by touch alone. "1, send" to speed dial contact #1 is far easier than iPhone's "power button, slide finger to unlock, try to press the phone icon, glance down to see if I pressed it, notice that I missed it, press phone icon, glance up at road, glance down at iphone, press favorites, glance up at road, crash into telephone pole, pry iphone out of windshield, glance down at iphone, go to keypad, dial 9-1-1, hit call, pass out".

RE: Looking forward to it...
By Diesel Donkey on 4/16/2009 11:30:43 AM , Rating: 1
Maybe Apple is trying to suggest something about proper/safe cell phone usage by making it harder to dial while driving :)

RE: Looking forward to it...
By JasonMick on 4/16/2009 11:32:48 AM , Rating: 4
You're right, this is probably the case, given how Apple and its management go to such great lengths to show their customers how much they care.

RE: Looking forward to it...
By theapparition on 4/16/2009 11:59:02 AM , Rating: 2
I sure to hell hope that was sarcasm.

RE: Looking forward to it...
By JasonMick on 4/16/2009 1:36:07 PM , Rating: 3
What is this strange sarcasm you speak of?

RE: Looking forward to it...
By Natfly on 4/16/2009 12:47:33 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed :) good article.

The fact that these patents were submitted so long ago makes me wonder how long their road map goes for the iPhone, and what kinds of patents are the submitting now?

RE: Looking forward to it...
By 67STANG on 4/16/2009 11:34:07 AM , Rating: 5
Or, maybe everything Apple makes has a single button that requires 15 presses to accomplish a simple action...

RE: Looking forward to it...
By theapparition on 4/16/2009 12:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
You just don't get it.

It's made that way so later they can come out with the "10 button press" design and advertise it as the greatest feature.

This of course only to be surpassed by the "20 button press" design.....but this one would have a new color!

RE: Looking forward to it...
By Diesel Donkey on 4/27/2009 3:31:27 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently my own sarcasm here did not come through.

RE: Looking forward to it...
By AMcA on 4/16/2009 12:28:20 PM , Rating: 2
All I want them to do is put a proper phone in the iPhone.

The current phone is about 3 generations back. My Motorola phone allows, for instance, parties to talk over each other, just like a landline does. An iPhone, like phones I had 5 years ago, locks the channel onto whoever is speaking, making for strained conversations in which it is impossible to break in. That's ridiculously low-tech.

The iPhone's lousy phone is what keeps me from getting one.

(Oh, yeah, and license the Kodak camera that's in my latest Motorola. It's astonishing what that sensor can do.)

RE: Looking forward to it...
By omnicronx on 4/16/2009 12:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
Funny.. I can already do this with my HTC diamond and third party apps..

Yet another Apple patent that was obviously not their original idea.

RE: Looking forward to it...
By jconan on 4/23/2009 1:13:04 AM , Rating: 2
can't believe the patent office granted apple a patent on an existing invention. the patent office needs to be overhauled.

RE: Looking forward to it...
By callmeroy on 4/17/2009 9:26:33 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe you shouldn't try doing such actions when driving? ;)

(the need for us to constantly be in touch for non-emergency related issues is something I find interesting -- particularly at how easily we'll disregard safety concerns to do so....)

excuse me
By Alphafox78 on 4/16/2009 11:12:23 AM , Rating: 3
soon you will have people walking around staring at their phones and bumping into everyone...

RE: excuse me
By Diesel Donkey on 4/16/2009 11:28:47 AM , Rating: 3
Aren't people already doing that? My favorite is when people staring at an electronic device or yacking on their phone step right in front of oncoming traffic without ever looking.

RE: excuse me
By mmntech on 4/16/2009 11:31:42 AM , Rating: 2
Texting while driving. Now that's scary!

RE: excuse me
By hiscross on 4/16/2009 12:09:25 PM , Rating: 1
My favorite is having sex while driving and being on the bottom enjoying the moment with eyes closed. Creamy.

What is 168?
By rmlarsen on 4/16/2009 7:29:44 PM , Rating: 2
Excuse my ignorance. What is the circle labeled 168? The proximity sensor?

RE: What is 168?
By grath on 4/16/2009 9:56:01 PM , Rating: 2
On the 3G, the brightness sensor is at the center of that circle, although much smaller than it. The proximity sensors, two of them, are between the brightness sensor and the earpiece speaker, closer to the speaker (160). On the diagram there is a distinct lack of notation at the current location of the proximity sensors. This may imply that 168 represents a new sensor that combines the functions of proximity and brightness detection, and perhaps some additional functionality related to the front facing camera or motion awareness.

Larger Icons
By acer905 on 4/16/2009 11:56:25 AM , Rating: 2
Imagine the frustration a user might have if they had an iPhone for a while, long enough to be able to access any app without looking, and suddenly while running they click what should be the location of their app, and it turns out to be something else...

Front Facing Camera
By jakeZ on 4/19/2009 9:44:17 AM , Rating: 2
Wow. A front facing camera?! What an innovation. Who would have thought of that. Oh yeah. Nokia. Years ago. Check out any N series device. US carriers will finally support video calling once the new iPhone comes out and once a again Apple will be heralded as innovative geniuses for simply taking trips to Europe and Asia.

By Zensen on 4/16/2009 1:08:18 PM , Rating: 1
I got something for apple : everything that's old is new again. reminds me of hollywood.

the patent system in the U.S needs an overhaul

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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