Feeds

Apple files patent for 'Waze-plus'

Mountain View's lunch is Cupertino's dessert

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

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. ®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.