Just over a year ago, Apple applied to the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) for the exclusive rights to a piece of technology they call digital page turning. They claimed that they had developed a unique animation method for turning pages on e-readers, saying that their design is the only one that imitates the physical actions of turning a page. The illustrations that they submitted with the application depict the page being turned from the edge and pulled back to reveal the next one – digitally of course. Last week the USPTO granted Apple their patent.
On closer look, the patent applications appears to be rather vague with no real detail. There is nothing within the patent that physically links it to e-reader page turning, leaving it open to be used for other things. However, what Apple don’t seem to have grasped is that there is more than one way to turn a page. Astonishingly they have not included the ability to page turn from either the top or bottom corner or from any other angle that people can think of. A bit remiss of them, or maybe an oversight. Of course, this may follow in an additional patent but it seems unlikely that Apple wouldn’t have covered all the bases in the first one.
One thing is clear; this will not stop other e-readers from including digital page turning functions on their e-books, just not in the manner that Apple have described. In fact, this kind of technology has been around for some time and it won’t be long before large companies, such as Amazon and Google get in on the act and take advantage of what Apple have missed.
Source : NY Times