Apple has filed for a patent (number 10,323,701) for “rendering road signs during navigation” and involves the company’s Maps app on iOS, watchOS, and macOS.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that many navigation devices have been sold to assist people to navigate a route between two locations. While such devices have proved to be very useful, the tech giant feels their navigation presentations “often are very stale and lack an elegant design that maximizes the data provided to the user during a presentation.” As such, “the presentations that these devices provide their users can, at times, lead to the users being confused and in some cases getting lost during the navigation presentations, the company adds. Obviously, Apple wants to change this.
The invention in the patent involves a navigation app that presents road signs during a navigation presentation. In presenting the road signs, the application of some embodiments differentiates the appearance of road signs at junctions that require a change of direction from road signs at junctions that don’t require a change of direction.
According to Apple, the app may perform processes that ensure that it arranges the road signs on the map in an “aesthetically pleasing manner.” In addition, the company wants to make sure that Maps doesn’t display so many road signs along a navigated route that the route is occluded by the signs.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.