Two Apple patents issued on April 29, 2003. Apple filed for a patent application for a "Methods and apparatus for handwriting recognition" on May 23, 1996 -- relatively eons ago. The abstract states:
Method and apparatus for handwriting recognition system for ideographies characters and other characters based on subcharacter hidden Markov models. The ideographies characters are modeled using a sequence of subcharacter models and by using two-dimensional geometric layout models of the subcharacters. The subcharacter hidden Markov models are created according to one embodiment by following a set of design rules. The combination of the sequence and geometric layout of the subcharacter models is used to recognize the handwriting character.
The background of the invention seems to highlight areas where the invention can do some good:
The Chinese and Japanese languages use ideographies scripts, where there are several thousand characters. This large number of characters makes the entry by a typical computer keyboard of a character into a computer system cumbersome and slow. A more natural way of entering ideographies characters into a computer system would be to use handwriting recognition, and particularly automatic recognition of cursive style handwriting in a "on-line" manner. However, prior on-line handwriting recognition methods have concentrated on print style handwritten ideographies characters; the requirement that the handwriting be printed is still too slow for a typical user of a computer system. These prior methods have not been successful at adapting to on-line cursive style handwriting character recognition.
This patent would seemingly be related to Inkwell, Appleis very cool, yet completely un-utilized handwriting recognition technology.
Next up, Apple was awarded a patent for "Adaptive throughput optimization," which was filed on October 6, 1999. The abstract states:
Computer system performance may be significantly enhanced by optimizing data throughput during input/output (I/O) operations. In turn, data throughput, during an I/O operation, may be optimized by adaptively modifying the I/O strategy at runtime, and/or continuously throughout the I/O operation, regardless of the specific hardware configuration associated with the I/O devices involved with the I/O operation, as well as additional factors that might otherwise impact the efficiency of the I/O operation.
Basically, it seems that the above patent seems to talk about how to optimize throughput between devices, e.g., a hard drive and a computer, by analyzing various factors during the transfer rather than blindly blasting bits.
Itis important to note that patents granted usually reflect technology that has long ago been introduced into the market place. New patent applications will sometimes clue us in as to what Apple is working on, but both of these were applied for long ago.