At the end of this week, several interesting Apple patents were published, but one that deserves special mention is a game system that uses augmented reality to provide interaction between players.
The technology described uses the NED (North East Down) coordinate system, employed on the plane, to determine the position of the players on the playing field (the world). Coupling this information to what is seen by the iPhone's camera would allow a player to score points by firing lasers (virtual or accessories attached to the iPhone) against competitors, who could protect themselves from attacks using virtual barriers. Communication via audio would be used for members of the same team to coordinate their actions. It seems like a really fun way to play with your friends and be surprised when one of them pwnar you during a walk in the mall.
Continuing the theme of ?social interaction?, another patent describes a method to make exchanging information more secure by using secret codes, which seems to be a continuation of the ?Bump patent?, which we discussed in August.
With this technology, if anyone wants to share an image gallery or add a friend they just met, there would be no need for a more complicated procedure than putting their iPhones in contact. With this, the devices would authenticate a connection with each other using a secret and exchange the necessary information without needing further actions from the users.
While this patent can be very interesting for everyone, another one is very restricted: it deals with a protection system for recharging lithium batteries in dangerously low temperatures. Yes, casualties: 5C or less. Does anyone in Brazil face one of these regularly? Only in the mountains of the South region, perhaps?
Well, in the United States (or in Antrtica) this can be a big problem: recharging a battery that is too cold can cause irreversible damage, so integrated circuits make the process slower to protect the integrity of the hardware. The Apple patent essentially describes only one way for the controller to encourage the machine being recharged to work to produce heat.
Simple and obvious, but still not patented. Well, now it is.
Finally, a patent that can end the party of hackers and competitors: a method to avoid reverse engineering. The technology described in this document makes use of a preprocessor that obfuscates the source code of a software before sending it to compilers.
Two advantages of this obfuscation method would be the feasibility of using common compilers and the flexibility in choosing the preprocessor, which can be replaced according to the need or even consist of several components that perform serial obfuscation operations.
(via Patently Apple: 1, 2, 3, 4)