Apple Patent App Describes Automatic Audio & Video Calibration

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In pursuit of technologies that can improve its existing devices as well as a future television set, Apple has applied for a patent on a process of automatically adjusting audio and video output on a computer or display based on environmental factors and the number and position of users.

Apple Enhanced Audio Patent

Many audio/visual output devices may be able to have an improved audio or video output, if the audio output is able to be adjusted to the environment, surroundings, circumstances, program, and/or environment. However, many audio and video output devices may require a user input or interaction in order to change a particular output or may not have variable output settings. In these instances the audio and/or video output may not be performing or outputting the best quality sound or images for the particular environment, programs, circumstance, or the like.

Using sensors such as cameras and microphones, a device implementing the described technology would be able to detect a user and automatically calibrate the audio output and video display to create an optimal experience for that user and the current environment.

Once a user is detected, a process determines whether the user is an optimum range for a current audio output of an audio output device. If the user is not within the optimum range, the processor modifies the audio output. Additionally, the sensor determines whether the user is orientated towards the computing device. Based on the user orientation the processor adjusts an audio device.

Other examples of the disclosure may take the form of a method for enhancing audio for a computer. The method may include determining by a sensor a user location relative to the computer. Once the user location has been determined, the sensor may gather environment data corresponding to an environment of the computer. Then, a processor adjusts an audiovisual setting view of the environment data and the user location.

Apple Enhanced Audio Patent

The process described by Apple’s patent application could be useful for many areas. Prerecorded music and video content could be equalized to sound best in a given room, video conferences could be calibrated automatically based on the number of participations and their position in each location, and a future Apple television with a Siri-like interface could accommodate multiple users with unique settings for each.

Apple’s patent application does not describe any new methods of actually enhancing audio and video – all the references point to modifications that can already be made manually using the settings on displays and audio systems – but it does envision a process where all of those methods are performed automatically in real time as the position of the user and the environment changes.

The application, titled “Devices With Enhanced Audio,” was filed July 28, 2011 before publication today. It lists Aleksandar Pance, Brett Bilbrey, Darby E. Hadley, Martin E. Johnson, and Ronald Nadim Isaac as inventors.



I should read the application to see if this is in there.

How about muting the sound or even pausing the program when you look away. Digital cameras can track a bunch of faces so if the TV doesn’t see faces, then it pauses. (Hard to pull the blanket over your head when the scary part comes on!)

Lends a whole new meaning to “Watching TV” - creepy!

Lee Dronick

“Using sensors such as cameras and microphones, a device implementing the described technology would be able to detect a user”

Sounds like something from 1984

It was starting, it was starting at last ! They could do nothing except stand gazing into one another’s eyes. To run for life, to get out of the house before it was too late - no such thought occurred to them. Unthinkable to disobey the iron voice from the wall. There was a snap as though a catch had been turned back, and a crash of breaking glass. The picture had fallen to the floor uncovering the telescreen behind it.

” Now they can see us “, said Julia.

” Now we can see you “, said the voice. ” Stand out in the middle of the room. Stand back to back. Clasp your hands behind your heads. Do not touch one another. “

John Martellaro

This is a good sign. The audio issues for a home HDTV system are tricky, and if Apple can contribute to great sound with ease of use, that would be a breakthrough.

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