Feeds

Microsoft seeks patent on ebook page flip

Redmondian innovation

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

As if to dispell all doubt that innovation is alive and well in Redmond, Microsoft has filed a patent application for – wait for it – the "Virtual Page Turn".

Yes, with filing number 20100175018 at the US Patent and Trademark Office, Microsoft is seeking to patent the animation of a page-flip when a user makes the appropriate gesture on an ebook's touchscreen. As the filing reads:

A page-turning gesture directed to a displayed page is recognized. Responsive to such recognition, a virtual page turn is displayed on the touch display... The virtual page turn curls a lifted portion of the page to progressively reveal a back side of the page while progressively revealing a front side of a subsequent page... A page-flipping gesture quickly flips two or more pages.

And that's about it. It's essentially the animation you've seen if you've ever used, say, Apple's iBooks for the iPad and iPhone, or Kindle on a touchscreen device, Stanza on the iPhone, Aldiko on an Android device, and presumably others The Reg hasn't played with.

Microsoft 'Virtual Page Turn' patent-application illustration

Flick your finger to turn a page forward or backward — innovation at it's most inspired

To be fair, the filing does include one breakthough we haven't yet seen in an ebook reader: the ability to turn a pile-o-pages with one gesture. Microsoft envisions the ability to flip through multiple pages by dragging your finger down the right margin. "Furthermore, the relationship between the speed of the gesture and the resulting speed of the page flipping can be linear, exponential, or any other suitable relationship," the filing notes.

Microsoft 'Virtual Page Turn' patent-application illustration

Touch at page 247, drag, and end up at page 533

The patent application, which was originally filed in January 2009 but published only Thursday, may have been an outgrowth of Microsoft's work on its Courier foldable tablet, which Redmond killed this April. At its death, Microsoft communications VP Frank Shaw said: "At any given time, we're looking at new ideas, investigating, testing, incubating them."

If a "Virtual Page Turn" is an example of a "new idea" coming out of Redmond, the Ballmer years are not turning out to be the most innovative of Microsoft's 35-year history.

Microsoft 'Virtual Page Turn' patent-application illustration

The filing's 'foldable digital reading device'

There is, of course, a faint possibility that if this patent is granted, that Microsoft could stir up some licensing trouble for Apple, Amazon, and others who have page-turning animations in their apps, but such actions seem unlikely. ®

Bootnote

We would be remiss if we didn't credit Microsoft with one intriguing detail in the 11-page patent application. In discussing input methods, the filing notes that "sources other than fingers may be used to execute a page-turning gesture." We'll simply leave the implications of that capability to your imagination.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.