Feeds

Apple files patent for 'Waze-plus'

Mountain View's lunch is Cupertino's dessert

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Apple has filed a patent application for something that looks remarkably similar to Google's billion-dollar crowdsourced mapping buy, Waze - which earlier this year was rumoured to be an Apple takeover target.

The fourth-of-July filing for “User Specified Route Rating and Alerts”, US application 20130173155, has one of the briefest abstracts this Vulture South hack has seen:

“In some implementations, a user can provide ratings for routes, streets and/or locations. In some implementations, the user can initiate an alert associated with a location. In some implementations, user-specified ratings and alerts can be included in a route determination. In some implementations, route rating and alert information can be transmitted to other users and/or devices. “

Under the claims, users would rate routes at the end of their trip, either on a binary or gradated scale; can associate characteristics with routes; can add text descriptions to routes; and so on.

In other words, it's either a patent for a Waze-plus, which if granted would somewhat discombobulate The Chocolate Factory; or its a patent for collecting information in a database keyed to locations or routes, which might find itself opposed by other parts of the industry, such as most geo-database firms.

There is a hint of a trivial novelty in the patent: once a user has rated a route, other subscribers could have that rating pushed to them – so if there's an accident blocking a freeway, a user's report would alert other users to find a different route.

It would make sense for Apple to try to add crowd-sourced information to its mapping capabilities. Its rush-job mapping efforts have drawn derision from users for a lack of “ground truthing” before the product was launched, and Cupertino has been advertising for GIS expertise in various countries to try and repair the damage to its reputation.

The criticisms of Apple Maps drew this apology from Tim Cook.

The patent application was spotted by AppleInsider. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.