1. jahnewnoise's Avatar
    I am not 100% sure, but I have a good feeling Apple got their multitouch interface for iPhone from this guy. http://ted.com/tedtalks/tedtalksplay...flashEnabled=1 I saw it about 7 months ago, and was amazed by it. This really is going to change the way we use computers. I am an Apple user, and love the stuff they put out. It just cracks me up that they take so much credit for innovation, when half the time, they just buy it from the "guy tinkering in his basement".
    01-17-2007 06:47 PM
  2. cjdaniel's Avatar
    Steve..Steve..Steve
    01-17-2007 06:54 PM
  3. kmrivers's Avatar
    OMG I want that. Simply amazing.
    01-17-2007 07:27 PM
  4. kmrivers's Avatar
    On another note. Who knows where the tech came from. There have always been technologies that are similar that are created simultaneously. If they have it patented I am guessing they got it first. I am sure this guy wouldnt have made it without patenting it.
    01-17-2007 07:29 PM
  5. rohn_s's Avatar
    That its totally awesome.......
    01-17-2007 08:14 PM
  6. samkim's Avatar
    Reminds me of Steve's fruitful trip to Xerox PARC leading to the Macintosh. He deserves credit for identifying and implementing hot technologies.
    01-17-2007 08:56 PM
  7. archie's Avatar
    I am not 100% sure, but I have a good feeling Apple got their multitouch interface for iPhone from this guy. http://ted.com/tedtalks/tedtalksplay...flashEnabled=1 I saw it about 7 months ago, and was amazed by it. This really is going to change the way we use computers. I am an Apple user, and love the stuff they put out. It just cracks me up that they take so much credit for innovation, when half the time, they just buy it from the "guy tinkering in his basement".
    I have seen a similar video before only it was put to music - came out before this one.
    Did you know that Apple patented their implementation even before that. I don't know if you have heard of a guy that goes by the name of "Neo" but he has uncovered a few different patents laying claim to this tech and they were all connected to Apple. Many others too that reference other technologies related to the iPhone besides the multi-touch gestures like 2 finger pinch and zoom, scrolling, swiping, flicking and that big bubble editing technique that lets you touch and hold the screen to get a zoomed in area of text for precise cursor placement with your finger. Did you see the keynote last week when everybody laughed when Jobs exclaimed, "... and BOY did we patent it." The crowd broke out in laughter because it has been common knowledge and had reached a state of ridiculousness. Heck I was documenting some of those patents here on TreoCentral until they started to become to numerous. There would be on average about 1 patent found everyday for the last year and a half or so and most all of them deal with iPhone technology.

    He used to work/write for Applecations, then Apple-X.net, then moved to MacsimumNews.com and now he is at MacNN.com. You can search for patents on those sights to find out when they were released but I know that they were uncovered while at Macsimumnews about a year to a year and a half ago. It seems quite likely that Apple came up with it by themselves.

    It's also worth noting that they have had similar technology in their notebook trackpads about 3 years ago.
    01-18-2007 12:06 AM
  8. archie's Avatar
    Reminds me of Steve's fruitful trip to Xerox PARC leading to the Macintosh. He deserves credit for identifying and implementing hot technologies.
    Here's the truth on that issue:

    This essay was written by Bruce in 1996, and is reprinted here with his permission. Bruce was one of the main designers of the Macintosh software, and he worked at Xerox for years before that, so he's uniquely qualified to discuss their relationship.

    For more than a decade now, I've listened to the debate about where the Macintosh user interface came from. Most people assume it came directly from Xerox, after Steve Jobs went to visit Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center). This "fact" is reported over and over, by people who don't know better (and also by people who should!). Unfortunately, it just isn't true - there are some similarities between the Apple interface and the various interfaces on Xerox systems, but the differences are substantial.

    Steve did see Smalltalk when he visited PARC. He saw the Smalltalk integrated programming environment, with the mouse selecting text, pop-up menus, windows, and so on. The Lisa group at Apple built a system based on their own ideas combined with what they could remember from the Smalltalk demo, and the Mac folks built yet another system. There is a significant difference between using the Mac and Smalltalk.

    Smalltalk has no Finder, and no need for one, really. Drag-and- drop file manipulation came from the Mac group, along with many other unique concepts: resources and dual-fork files for storing layout and international information apart from code; definition procedures; drag-and-drop system extension and configuration; types and creators for files; direct manipulation editing of document, disk, and application names; redundant typed data for the clipboard; multiple views of the file system; desk accessories; and control panels, among others. The Lisa group invented some fundamental concepts as well: pull down menus, the imaging and windowing models based on QuickDraw, the clipboard, and cleanly internationalizable software.

    Smalltalk had a three-button mouse and pop-up menus, in contrast to the Mac's menu bar and one-button mouse. Smalltalk didn't even have self-repairing windows - you had to click in them to get them to repaint, and programs couldn't draw into partially obscured windows. Bill Atkinson did not know this, so he invented regions as the basis of QuickDraw and the Window Manager so that he could quickly draw in covered windows and repaint portions of windows brought to the front. One Macintosh feature identical to a Smalltalk feature is selection-based modeless text editing with cut and paste, which was created by Larry Tesler for his Gypsy editor at PARC.

    As you may be gathering, the difference between the Xerox system architectures and Macintosh architecture is huge; much bigger than the difference between the Mac and Windows. It's not surprising, since Microsoft saw quite a bit of the Macintosh design (API's,sample code, etc.) during the Mac's development from 1981 to 1984; the intention was to help them write applications for the Mac, and it also gave their system designers a template from which to design Windows. In contrast, the Mac and Lisa designers had to invent their own architectures. Of course, there were some ex- Xerox people in the Lisa and Mac groups, but the design point for these machines was so different that we didn't leverage our knowledge of the Xerox systems as much as some people think.

    The hardware itself was an amazing step forward as well. It offered an all-in-one design, four-voice sound, small footprint, clock, auto-eject floppies, serial ports, and so on. The small, portable, appealing case was a serious departure from the ugly- box-on-an-ugly-box PC world, thanks to Jerry Manock and his crew. Even the packaging showed amazing creativity and passion - do any of you remember unpacking an original 128K Mac? The Mac, the unpacking instructions, the profusely-illustrated and beautifully- written manuals, and the animated practice program with audio cassette were tastefully packaged in a cardboard box with Picasso- style graphics on the side.

    Looking Back

    In my opinion, the software architectures developed at Xerox for Smalltalk and the Xerox Star were significantly more advanced than either the Mac or Windows. The Star was a tremendous accomplishment, with features that current systems haven't even started to implement, though I see OpenDoc as a strong advance past the Xerox systems. I have great respect for the amazing computer scientists at Xerox PARC, who led the way with innovations we all take for granted now, and from whom I learned a tremendous amount about software design.

    Apple could have developed a more complex, sophisticated system rivaling the Xerox architectures. But the Mac had to ship, and it had to be relatively inexpensive - we couldn't afford the time or expense of the "best possible" design. As a "little brother" to the Lisa, the Macintosh didn't have multitasking or protection - we didn't have space for the extra code or stack required. The original Macintosh had extremely tight memory and disk constraints; for example, the Resource Manager took up less than 3,000 bytes of code in the ROM, and the Finder was only 46K on disk. We made _many_ design decisions that we regretted to some extent - even at the time some of us felt disappointed at the compromises we had to make - but if we had done it differently, would we have shipped at all?

    The Past and Future

    In many ways, the computing world has made remarkably small advances since 1976, and we continually reinvent the wheel. Smalltalk had a nice bytecoded multi-platform virtual machine long before Java. Object oriented programming is the hot thing now, and it's almost 30 years old (see the Simula-67 language). Environments have not progressed much either: I feel the Smalltalk environments from the late 1970's are the most pleasant, cleanest, fastest, and smoothest programming environments I have ever used. Although CodeWarrior is reasonably good for C++ development, I haven't seen anything that compares favorably to the Smalltalk systems I used almost 20 years ago. The Smalltalk systems of today aren't as clean, easy to use, or well- designed as the originals, in my opinion.

    We are not even _close_ to the ultimate computing-information- communication device. We have much more work to do on system architectures and user interfaces. In particular, user interface design must be driven by deep architectural issues and not just new graphical appearances; interfaces are structure, not image. Neither Copland nor Windows 95 (nor NT, for that matter) represent the last word on operating systems. Unfortunately, market forces are slowing the development of the next revolution. Still, I think you can count on Apple being the company bringing these improvements to next generation systems.
    01-18-2007 12:09 AM
  9. samkim's Avatar
    Here's the truth on that issue:

    This essay was written by Bruce in 1996, and is reprinted here with his permission. Bruce was one of the main designers of the Macintosh software, and he worked at Xerox for years before that, so he's uniquely qualified to discuss their relationship.
    Thanks for the essay.

    Jobs visited PARC and learned about the mouse, windows, and ethernet, and then went on to develop the Mac - just like how Microsoft saw the promise of the Mac GUI and developed OS/2 and Windows. The underlying architectures were completely different and the feature sets were very different, but the GUI concept followed a clear path starting from Xerox.
    01-18-2007 01:48 AM
  10. samkim's Avatar
    I have seen a similar video before only it was put to music - came out before this one.
    Did you know that Apple patented their implementation even before that. I don't know if you have heard of a guy that goes by the name of "Neo" but he has uncovered a few different patents laying claim to this tech and they were all connected to Apple. Many others too that reference other technologies related to the iPhone besides the multi-touch gestures like 2 finger pinch and zoom, scrolling, swiping, flicking and that big bubble editing technique that lets you touch and hold the screen to get a zoomed in area of text for precise cursor placement with your finger.
    Here's a list of Apple's patent applications related to "touch":
    http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...2Ftouch&d=PG01

    Note that these are just applications, so none of them have been approved yet. Anyone can apply for a patent for virtually anything. It remains to be seen what patent rights Apple will be given after the examiners review for prior art.
    01-18-2007 01:55 AM
  11. archie's Avatar
    Here's a list of Apple's patent applications related to "touch":
    http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...2Ftouch&d=PG01

    Note that these are just applications, so none of them have been approved yet. Anyone can apply for a patent for virtually anything. It remains to be seen what patent rights Apple will be given after the examiners review for prior art.
    All the patents that the "Neo" guy tracks down have been accepted and granted. OF course this was before Google had their patent finder (which I haven't tried yet).
    01-18-2007 03:41 AM
  12. samkim's Avatar
    All the patents that the "Neo" guy tracks down have been accepted and granted. OF course this was before Google had their patent finder (which I haven't tried yet).
    Nope. These are just applications:
    Neo: iPhone GUI
    Neo: proximity detector

    I haven't tried Google for patents yet either.
    01-18-2007 11:16 AM
  13. specimen38's Avatar
    Sounds like we don't know for sure about the multi-touch patent. Apple or someone else? Perhaps a dead-heat? Perhaps we can re-categorize it's introduction as an innovation again -- brought to market.

    Nope. These are just applications:
    Neo: iPhone GUI
    Neo: proximity detector

    I haven't tried Google for patents yet either.
    01-18-2007 03:27 PM
  14. archie's Avatar
    This multi-touch patent of Apple's goes back 2 and a half years.

    http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...AND+ABST/touch)

    It predates anything anyone has ever seen.
    01-18-2007 03:59 PM
  15. samkim's Avatar
    This multi-touch patent of Apple's goes back 2 and a half years.

    http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...AND+ABST/touch)

    It predates anything anyone has ever seen.
    I saw that. That's for the hardware, not the UI.
    01-18-2007 04:06 PM
  16. archie's Avatar
    This one goes back 2 and a half years and describes the many gestures to be used in the software UI like sliding, pinching, rotating and twisting and all that kind of stuff.

    http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...AND+ABST/touch)
    01-18-2007 04:43 PM
  17. Malatesta's Avatar
    Doesn't it all go back to Fingerworks and those guys? Apple bought them years ago, correct?

    http://www.fingerworks.com/

    http://fingerfans.dreamhosters.com/f...opic.php?t=223
    01-18-2007 05:10 PM
  18. specimen38's Avatar
    Good work Archie! -- I see multi-touch patent filed May 2004
    Steve Jobs was more like right than opposing facts presented in these threads. No disrespect to Samkin. It seems rational that it's difficult to submit a hardware patent without the software.

    This multi-touch patent of Apple's goes back 2 and a half years.

    http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...AND+ABST/touch)

    It predates anything anyone has ever seen.
    01-18-2007 05:19 PM
  19. specimen38's Avatar
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading that Archie.

    Here's the truth on that issue: essay written by Bruce in 1996
    01-18-2007 05:25 PM
  20. archie's Avatar
    Yes, it seems that way. Or at least they hired 2 primary engineers from Fingerworks. But this "Apple purchases Fingerworks" rumor is from the 2005 - the company ceased operations about June or July of 2005. Apple's patents of these related technologies go back to May of 2004.
    01-18-2007 05:28 PM
  21. samkim's Avatar
    This one goes back 2 and a half years and describes the many gestures to be used in the software UI like sliding, pinching, rotating and twisting and all that kind of stuff.

    http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...AND+ABST/touch)
    You're right. It looks like the patent covers the pinching and rotating gestures. The NYU guy at the TED conference made it seem like it was his original work. Unless he, or anyone else, can prove that they developed these concepts first, there's a good chance that Apple will hold a monopoly on this type of input system. The patent was filed in July 2004, and so it's likely that Apple developed the concept at least a couple months before then. The NYU guy presented the work in 2006, and I doubt he'd been working on it for two years.
    01-18-2007 05:38 PM
  22. Malatesta's Avatar
    Yes, it seems that way. Or at least they hired 2 primary engineers from Fingerworks. But this "Apple purchases Fingerworks" rumor is from the 2005 - the company ceased operations about June or July of 2005. Apple's patents of these related technologies go back to May of 2004.
    Your still missing it.

    Fingerworks was selling their technology back in early 2002:
    http://www.bbcworld.com/content/clic...66&co_pageid=3

    http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,58978-0.html
    To close a file requires the opposite rotation. To cut a piece of text, pinch the fingers together, and to paste, flick the fingers outward. To zoom in, expand all five fingers, jazz-hands style. Contract the hand to zoom out. (from 2003)
    (but they had prototypes in the 90's: "This 1990s prototype of a keyless keyboard was made with a few circuit boards and a paper covering.")

    When Apple bought them they bought all the patents too.

    When the company was acquired this winter, the fundamental patents on MultiTouch input netted the University of Delaware more than $1 million. Collaborations between Westerman and Elias, however, are far from over. As Westerman puts it, their "symbiotic two-man hardware/software R&D partnership" continues to thrive today.
    Find the Fingerworks patents (surely they had them, why else would Apple acquire them?). I bet they pre-date Apple's.
    01-18-2007 05:53 PM
  23. archie's Avatar
    Originally Posted by archie
    Yes, it seems that way. Or at least they hired 2 primary engineers from Fingerworks. But this "Apple purchases Fingerworks" rumor is from the 2005 - the company ceased operations about June or July of 2005. Apple's patents of these related technologies go back to May of 2004.
    Your still missing it.

    Fingerworks was selling their technology back in early 2002:
    http://www.bbcworld.com/content/clic...66&co_pageid=3
    I'm not missing anything. They didn't sell the company until 3 years later after they first started trying to sell it.

    http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,58978-0.html


    (but they had prototypes in the 90's: "This 1990s prototype of a keyless keyboard was made with a few circuit boards and a paper covering.")
    This pretty much confirms that they were still in business at this point. Don't you think? I mean jeez, the article is dated 2003.

    When Apple bought them they bought all the patents too.



    Find the Fingerworks patents (surely they had them, why else would Apple acquire them?). I bet they pre-date Apple's.
    Apple hired the 2 engineers (and could have purchased the company as well) because they were having trouble incorporating their own patented technology. I don't know if you recall but Apple had trouble with their two-finger trackpad technology in 2005. They had released updates to correct the intermittent problems but didn't arrive at a final solution until hiring the Fingerworks engineers.

    This leads me to my next point. Fingerworks technology is different than what Apple uses for the iPhone AND the gestures are completely different.
    01-24-2007 12:36 AM
  24. Malatesta's Avatar
    This pretty much explains it all, imo:

    Some iPhone touchscreen roots 'splained by FingerWorks inventors

    The greatest admission so far to such cahoots comes from Westerman, who said recently: "The one difference that's actually quite significant is the iPhone is a display with the multi-touch, and the FingerWorks was just an opaque surface. That's all I'm going to say there. There's definite similarities, but Apple's definitely taken it another step by having it on a display."
    Fingerworks had the technology and know-how, Apple had the idea to add it to a touchscreen.
    01-26-2007 10:10 PM
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