Apple granted patent for an authoring tool for online 3D content

Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,162,475) for “interactive menu elements in a virtual three-dimensional space” that involves a content authoring toolbar online 3D content, most likely for the Mac.

In the patent filing, the tech giant says that, in many instances, computer-programming languages are a hindrance to electronic content creation and, ultimately, delivery to content consumers. Often content creators and designers simply lack the skill and the knowledge to publish their mental creations to share with the world. 

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To begin to bridge this gap, content creators can use some electronic-content-development tools which allow content creators to interact with a graphical user interface to design the content while an electronic-content-development tool puts the computer-programming code in place to represent the electronic content on a user's computer.  One type of such tool is a web page development tool, which allows a user to create webpages with basic features by designing the webpage graphically within the electronic-content-development tool. 

However, according to Apple, in most instances, such tools can only assist users with basic features. Users wanting customized elements must still have knowledge of one or more computer-programming languages. Such adjustments require knowledge of computer-programming languages, which again, many content creators lack. Apple wants to change this.

The patent includes a digital content authoring tool for authoring digital content without the need to understand or access computer code. It includes the ability to create digital content that’s compatible with a diverse population of end user devices without the need for separate versions of the completed content. Instead, the digital authoring tool can manage versions of assets, which individually, can be compatible with different device criteria. Apple says the technology “described herein provides a simple method for creating and delivering digital content that is configured for presentation on a user's specific device.”

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.