Apple dynamically-generated video ringtone patent spotted

Mar 8, 2011
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A new Apple patent application could lead to a new video ringtone system that could dynamically create caller ID clips and animations when your iPhone rings. The application, Dynamically Generated Ring Tones, describes an iPhone automatically cutting together different video clips associated with a particular caller, synching them to a separate audio track and creating, in effect, a unique video montage themed around the incoming call.

The video could be sped up or slowed down, either by freezing the frame or increasing the framerate, and various audio analysis systems - beat detection, amplitude or frequency are specifically mentioned - could be used to modify then clips. Photos, and 2D or 3D animations could also be introduced, or different layers of animation responding to different elements of the audio.

"As an example, the media signal may be a drum sound that defines the beat of the song of an audio file. The inventive system can define the drum sound as the characteristic and sample this characteristic while playing the audio file normally. When the audio and video tracks are played together, the inventive system will automatically alter the sequence of the video file based upon the characteristic of the audio signal. Specifically, the video frame that would normally be displayed at the time of the characteristic (i.e., the beat) is not displayed and an alternate substitute video frame is displayed in its place. In addition, each and every frame could be reordered." Apple example

As well as using content already stored on the local device, Apple explains how Genius data could be used to pick out other, thematically-linked content from iTunes. Alternatively, the caller could seed the video or audio to be played, sharing a new track they'd been enjoying for instance. Now, there's no telling whether Apple will actually deploy something like this in future versions of iOS, but it would sure beat hearing the same default iPhone ringtone everywhere you go.

[via Patently Apple]


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