Apple’s published patent applications always makes for interesting reading. The iPhone maker’s latest patent applications hint at some really cool features possibly coming down the pipeline – chief among them, a live object identification technology that will allow you to point your iPhone camera at a real-world object to pull up information about that object. Apple also outlines technologies that will enable face recognition, event-based tasks, filtering of text messages, cross-referenced communications and even altering of voices on your iPhone – that is, if these patent applications ever make it to production.
The coolest feature potentially headed to a future iPhone near you is the live object identification technology. By using any combination of your iPhone’s camera, RFID sensors, barcode readers and the like, you can literally point your iPhone at a product on a store shelf and have the Apple Phone fetch product information. Nokia is already working on this type of technology with their “Point & Find” service. Live object identification, combined with the iPhone 3GS’s compass feature would make for some truly unique augmented reality applications.
Another Apple patent application describes a technology that would have your iPhone recognizing particular faces. The iPhone would change modes or user-access permissions depending on the person using the iPhone. Finally! A technology to keep your porn browsing truly secret, without hampering your own porn access. Sweet.
Other patent applications outline methods to change device modes based on geo-location data, environmental parameters, calendar events or even push notifications; to filter profanity out of text messages or force language-specific text messages (to help learn a foreign language); to cross-reference messaging technologies that notify you of unread emails from a contact before calling them for a conference call; and to alter voice output to suit your needs (mother’s voice to soothe a crying child).
Unwired View has compiled an impressive list of these iPhone patent applications here, check it out.