Some really interesting new Apple patents have been published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, one entitled “Seamlessly Embedded Heart Rate Monitor”, and the other “Multidimensional Widgets”.
While many are speculating that the heart rate patent will result in Apple developing Nike+ style technology natively into their devices, it seems that the patent focuses more on heart rate biometric identification. This would presumably result in your iDevice having a heartbeat and cardiac signal sensor in order to “determine the user’s heart rate”.
To determine the user’s heart rate, heartbeat, or other cardiac signals, the electronic device can include one or more sensors embedded in the device. The one or more sensors can include leads for receiving electrical signals from the user’s heart. . . . To provide an electrical signal from the user to the processing circuitry, the leads can be exposed such that the user may directly contact the leads, or may instead or in addition be coupled to an electrically conductive portion of the device enclosure (e.g., a metallic bezel or housing forming the exterior of the device).
The second patent, titled “Multidimensional Widgets”, seems to give us a little insight into where Apple would like to take Dashboard Widgets in the future. The patent describes three-dimensional widgets as well as a “widget receptacle”, which would allow you to group many 3D widgets together on a 3D surface.
A graphical user interface, comprising:a viewing surface;a modeled depth axis extending from the viewing surface; anda plurality of three-dimensional widgets disposed along the depth axis, each three-dimensional widget being a three-dimensional representation of an object and having a plurality of application surfaces, each application surface for association with a widget function of the three-dimensional widget.
For example, a three-dimensional widget with four or fewer functions can be of the form of a tetrahedron; a three-dimensional widget with five or six functions can be of the form of a hexahedron; a three-dimensional widget with seven or eight functions can be of the form of a octahedron; and a three-dimensional widget with nine functions can be of the form of a dodecahedron. Thus, if a user specifies ten stock tickers for quotes and technicals, the widget 420 can expand from a hexahedron to a dodecahedron.