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Apple wants your iPhone to be able to ID all sorts of info

Apple plans to acquire Shazam, the popular music recognition app that’s used by more than 100 million people each month to identify music, get song lyrics, and more. But the tech giant wants your iPhone to be able to ID even more data.

The company has been granted a patent (number 9,977,989) for “systems and methods for identifying objects and providing information related to identified objects.” The techniques of the invention can allow a user to specify modes to help with identifying objects. 

What’s more, the additional information can be provided with different levels of detail depending on user selection. An apparatus for presenting a user with a log of the identified objects is also provided. The user can customize the log by, for example, creating a multi-media album.

In the patent filing, Apple notes that portable electronic devices such as the iPhone can include, for example, a camera that may be capable of capturing an image of an object, but such devices can’t provide a user with other related information about the object. 

For example, a user may be in an art museum looking at a piece of art. Although the iPhone might be capable of taking a picture of the art, it can’t provide detailed information about the piece of art, such as the name of the painter or any other related information.

As another example, an iPhone can display pictures taken previously, but can’t provide a user with historical information about what the user has already seen. For example, the user may have visited a zoo and may have used the portable electronic device to take a picture of the front entrance of the zoo. Although the user can show the picture to a friend days later, the user can not use the portable electronic device to find the zoo’s location. 

Apple says it “would be desirable to provide systems and methods that provide a user with the capability to view an object’s identity and obtain additional information about the identified object.” The tech giant adds, in the patent filing, that “it would also be desirable to provide a user with the capability to access a history of previously identified objects.”

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.


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the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.
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