back to article GoPro feels COLD BREATH of APPLE on back of neck

Among the fistful of patents Apple was awarded on Tuesday was a pair of eye-catching filings, one of which has already hit a potential competitor in the pocket. The first of the two, US Patent No 8,933,876, describes a 3D gesture input system that uses a camera to track user movements and respond to three-dimensional gestures …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Please tell me...

    ...that the makers of the GoPro cameras HAVE actually got a few patents already in the locker?

    1. Champ

      Re: Please tell me...

      Surely GoPro don't need any patents to protect themselves from Apple's patent-trolling. They can point to one of their cameras and claim prior art.

      In fact, given that the GoPro actually exists, I can't understand why Apple being granted a patent impacts GoPro's share price at all.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Please tell me...

        Prior? The article says the patent was reassigned from Kodak, so I assume (I can't remember Skegby Kodak ceased R&D) it predates GoPro's product line.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Please tell me...

          Didn't kodak do some patent trolling a few years ago? I'm too tired to remember it now, but I'm sure they bought a company that was completely unrelated to their own business just because they knew they would get some patents and immediately litigate.

      2. jai

        Re: Please tell me...

        >impacts GoPro's share price?

        This is the stock market you're talking about. If they don't knee-jerk react to news they do not understand, then how can anyone make any money?

        Sure, a lot of "average Joe" investors have seen the value of their stock wiped out, but a couple of 1% traders are going to make a lot of money off the rapid fluctuation of this stock.

        the stock market is more broken than the USPO

  2. Medixstiff

    Why US patent office...

    These patents are so open ended it's not funny, besides as pointed out with Kinect and other technolgies being out for a while, what is so different to the hand gesture one?

    1. sorry, what?
      Facepalm

      Re: Why US patent office...

      They obviously never saw Minority Report. They'd have spotted pre-prior-art and avoided this pre-crime.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why US patent office...

        Just a feeling as I really need to dig up sources, but the reason for the specifics of the gestures is that this has been used in Sci-Fi stories for some time (early '80's at the very least) which kills any general patent in this direction (pun definitely intended).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          No no no

          You guys who think a movie constitutes prior art have no understanding how patents work. You can't patent an idea. You have to include in your patent how you are going to achieve it. You don't need to fully operating prototype, but you have to be able to describe it well enough that if you build such a product in the future it uses the methodology you've described. It isn't good enough to say "use hands for the UI" which Minority Report shows. You have to describe how you will determine the position of the hands, the resolution if you want to track individual fingers, and the way gestures will be used.

          Saying "Minority Report is prior art" is pretty much the definition of hand waving!

          I know it is asking a lot, but if you guys would actually look at the patent in question, you'd see it is lot more than "use your hands waving around in space to control a UI" There are descriptions of different speeds, directions, and amounts of motion and what they accomplish, how the UI interacts with it, how it is sensed.

          Depending on how Kinect's patent is written they are probably not in conflict - though even if they were since Apple and Microsoft has an extensive patent cross licensing agreement they can't sue each other over this anyway.

          I'm not sure how much of this I'd really want to do. Your arms will get tired if you tried to do that for very long.

  3. RedneckMother

    Dear CrApple:

    ... here's a "gesture" for you:

    http://regmedia.co.uk/2014/06/17/emoji.png

    (I hope it survives any link updates)

    Seriously, folks... GET A GRIP! Stop this absurd patent nonsense!

  4. solo
    Coat

    Umbrella of patents

    ..don't mean they building houses out of them.

  5. Tom_

    4cm per second?

    That strikes me as an unnaturally slow speed to move your hand when interacting with a computer. Just typing this message I can see my hands move around the keyboard much quicker than that.

  6. Velv
    Facepalm

    How can 8,933,876 ever have been granted when it actually cites the Kinect?

    Just proves the Merkin patent office is broken

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Patent application citing other patents

      This is very common.

      you can patent a different way of doing something that is described in another patent OR

      you can patent somthing that is an improvement on the methods described in the patent referenced in the new application.

      Unless you are a patent lawyer you really can't say if the grant was justifable or not. Us laymen/laywomen can only speculate about the validity of the patents.

  7. g e

    Waterproof? Ruggedised?

    I think Jacques Cousteau (or his descendants) might have something to say there.

  8. Mike Moyle

    Interesting...

    The two appearing on the same date strikes me as an interesting coincidence -- and it could BE coincidence -- but consider:

    1 -- A waterproofed/ruggedized camera, suitable for underwater use, and;

    2 -- A control system designed to operate based on motions of 4 cm/sec. -- which is, as someone pointed out above, slow for normal use, but could be just about right for underwater motion.

    An underwater camera/Google glass-type system mounted in a diver's face mask seems, at first glance, an awfully niche product, but niche products have a way of inspiring people to find new uses for them. (I wonder if such a system could be mounted in/on a NASA space helmet? Slow movements to minimize action/reaction problems seem to be pretty standard from what video I've seen.)

  9. joed

    what took them so long

    Apple will surely claim the patent and novelty of "discovery" but 3rd party(ies) implementations of the case had been on the market for quite some time. I looked up one of these, the expense did not sway me into buying it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Steve Jobs still stealing, from BEYOND THE GRAVE!

  11. Alan Bourke

    F**king Apple

    They'll actually invent something of their own someday.

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