Today, the last day for patents to be granted in 2022, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially released a series of 62 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. In this particular report, we cover a key Spatial Audio patent and links to four camera patents. And as always, we end this week’s granted patents report with our traditional list of the remaining granted patents issued to Apple today.
Spatial Audio Mix Reduction
Apple was granted a patent today relating to computerized data processing systems and methods for audio processing and, in particular, spatial audio processing.
More specifically, the patent covers ‘Spatial Audio Downmixing’ and the hardware on which it will be available. Spatial Audio will be compatible with future HDTV and streaming services like Apple TV+ via MPEG-H and/or ‘Higher-Order’ ambisonics.’
Apple’s patent records state that the production of three-dimensional (3D) sound effects in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) applications covered by the term “simulated reality,” or SR, is commonly used to enhance Multimedia Content.
For example, sound designers add 3D sound effects by manipulating sounds contained in spatial audio objects to enhance a scene in an SR application, where the sounds are ambient sounds and/or discrete sounds that can be virtually positioned for have the spatial audio system play them anywhere. in the 3D virtual space created by the SR application.
A head-mounted system can be designed to receive an external display (for example, a smartphone). The head-mounted system may have image sensor(s) and/or microphones for taking images/video and/or capturing audio of the physical environment, respectively.
Other examples of SR systems include head-up displays, automobile windshields capable of displaying graphics, windows capable of displaying graphics, lenses capable of displaying graphics, headphones or earphones, speaker arrays, input mechanisms (for example, controllers with or without haptic feedback), tablets, smartphones, and desktop or laptop computers.
In one embodiment, the audio data in which the sound is recorded or encoded is stored as a spatial audio object that preserves the spatial characteristics of one or more recorded sounds.
In another embodiment, the spatial audio object contains several channels of audio data representing one or more recorded sounds, each channel being associated with one or more than one direction and a location (distance), for example, from a source of the sound. Recorded.
Apple patent FIG. 4 illustrates the spatial sound preview process in more detail. In one embodiment, a composite spatial audio object #404, such as the combined forest/waterfall ambient sounds shown in FIG. 1 below.
In addition to fig. 4, Apple notes that the spatial sound preview user interface #406 generates (operation #408) a displayed spatial sound object #206 (see FIG. 2 below), such as a balloon virtual (eg, sphere, bubble, cube, polyhedron, etc.) in response to a request (eg, from the user) to preview the sound represented in Composite Spatial Audio Object #404.
In the example of fig. 4, the object is a virtual sphere that has a central origin from which all the spatial sounds represented by the different triangles will emanate.
In other words, each triangle can represent a speaker (acoustic output transducer) that points outward and is placed at the same location (the central origin of the virtual sphere).
Apple patent FIG. 1 below is a block diagram illustrating an overview of the use of spatial sound in SR environments; FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating a spatial sound preview.
For more details, please review Apple Granted US Patent 11540081 B2.
Chris Eubank: Engineering Manager, Audio
Matt Connolly – software engineer (background audio)
Stephen Pinto: No LinkedIn profile found
Apple was also awarded a series of four camera-related patents today. Links to these patents are presented below:
A: Folded optics chamber and actuator assembly
Two: Camera folded
Apple patent FIG. 1 below, depicting the ‘864 patent, illustrates a simplified view of a camera with folded optics arrangement and shows how light is bent within the folded optics; Apple patent FIG. 6 below, depicting the ‘936 patent, illustrates a cross-sectional illustration of a folded camera with five refractive lens elements in the lens system.
Three: scene camera
four: Chamber with low profile actuator arrangement
Remaining Granted Patents Today