Patent Watch: Apple Now Owns Context-Sensitive ‘Loupe’ Magnification

Patent Watch: Apple Now Owns Context-Sensitive ‘Loupe’ Magnification


Following the Cupertino, CA company being awarded a patent covering the methods used for automatically dimming its “Retina” displays dependent on the content being shown to a user, yesterday, TUAW reports that the USPTO has published yet another patent relating to Apple this week, one which specifically covers the “magnification” tools seen in the current iteration of iOS.

loupe

Entitled, “Device, Method, and Graphical User Interface for Management and Manipulation of User Interface Elements,” the patent covers a “context-sensitive, automated use of a magnification loupe” which is, in turn, “disclosed to facilitate management and manipulation of user interface content and small user interface elements via gestures on a touch-sensitive surface.”

In short, Apple just patented that little “magnification” bubble that appears if you hold down your finger for a short period of time over a piece of text in iOS.

In one embodiment, Apple highlights that using the method “a magnifying loupe is displayed based on the context associated with a finger-based gesture on a touch-sensitive surface.”

For example, the company describes how a magnification loupe may be displayed when one or more user interface elements corresponding to the location of the gesture on the touch-sensitive surface is smaller than a predefined size threshold. It continues, adding that the loupe is not displayed when the user interface elements corresponding to the location of the gesture on the touch-sensitive surface are larger than the predefined size threshold.

In a separate embodiment, the company explains how the “magnification power” of the loupe may vary based on “the size of the one or more user interface elements corresponding to the location of the gesture on the touch-sensitive surface.”

The patent was originally filed on December 15, 2009, and was officially granted to Apple this week. You can read the full patent (No. 8,358,281) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.