Apple working on automatically sizing text based on proximity to user’s face

“Apple Inc., the maker of the iPad and iPhone, is seeking a patent on a technology aimed at making it easier for a user to read a display on a mobile device,” Victoria Slind-Flor reports for Bloomberg.

“Application 20120287163, published in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Nov. 15, covers the scaling of a device’s visual content depending on its proximity to the user’s face,” Slind-Flor reports. “The technology covered by the application would determine the distance between the user’s face and the display screen, and then, using a calibration procedure involving one or more processors, would adjust the display’s scale.”

Slind-Flor reports, “Sensors that would capture the image of the user’s face for calibration purposes could include ‘an infrared distance sensing device; a laser distance sensing device; a SONAR distance sensing device; and an image capture device.'”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. Actually…the implementation of this was already done with a DIY of a guy called Johnny Lee. He made it available so that normal teachers can afford interactive boards for 50 dollars, and so that people can make games and interactive “fake” window and so on. It’s completely open and readily available. I’m kind of pissed at Apple trying to patent this and stop anyone from using this technology without paying them. Apple can go to hell.

      Btw, Johnny Lee works for Google, but this project is still free and open.

      1. Also, I do not have qualms with companies that apply patents on their IMPLEMENTATION. Did you read the patent? It literally says: “scaling of display based on the position of face, such as fonts” That’s seriously too general and is an obvious attempt at patent fishing. If the patent was something like “using an optical camera to find the coordinate of the face based on bla bla point, converting into such bla bla signal based on bla bla clocking with bla bla bus interface with bla bla code, that is implementation and time spent creating it should be protected, therefore a valid patent. A patent where “I got an idea, I haven’t built it yet, but it’s still my idea so that nobody should use it without my permission” is BS.

        TL;DR Apple need to build an implementation and patent that instead.

  1. Another innovation using advanced technology to do something useless. Hopefully they allow users to disable this stupid feature that sounds headache inducing. I’m pretty sure my eyes already have a feature to automatically adjust to things at different distances.

      1. As someone who wears bifocals and has a separate pair of glasses for computer work (my depth of field with the bifocals is not good enough and there is a ranged between the two where my computer screen fits that the bifocals do not cover) I can say this: large fuzzy letters are still fuzzy if your glasses/eyes are not adequate or correct.

        This is a dumb application of screen technology.

        A MUCH, MUCH better use is to implement TRUE screen resolution independence. Then 12pt type would be 0.1666 inches (0.423 cm) tall on every screen. If you need larger type, just set your browser to show nothing smaller than 14 pt or 16 pt — whatever you need for your viewing.

  2. I think it has potential. Among other things it would have to be very smooth, it can’t take any appreciable VPU or CPU power, and it would absolutely need to be user adjustable, including the ability to disable.

    But hey, Apple, before you get into more of this generally cool and esoteric stuff, can you please bring back both Public and Private settings in the new separate Reminders App? Please? Now?!


  3. One major flaw here if I understand the concept correctly. If the text on my iPad or iPhone screen is a little small to read I move it closer to my eyes. This tech would cause the text to shrink just as I need it to be larger. I suppose on a Mac it might be different.

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