Thursdays the Patent Office publishes new pending patent applications. Both of today's Spotlight Applications concern aspects of digital watermarking. Assigned to Elwha LLC, the first application discloses techniques for scanning a user environment and evaluating data of interest. A "William Gates" is listed as lead inventor and all of the several inventors are listed as Washington residents. Don't know if it's Bill Gates. Assigned to Fraunhofer, the second of today's applications discloses techniques for a watermark generator that has an information spreader configured to spread an information unit to a plurality of time-frequency-domain values, to obtain a spread information representation.
20130229261, "Systems and methods for scanning a user environment and evaluating data of interest," assigned to Elwha LLC.
According to various embodiments, a mobile device continuously and/or automatically scans a user environment for tags containing non-human-readable data. The mobile device may continuously and/or automatically scan the environment for tags without being specifically directed at a particular tag. The mobile device may be adapted to scan for audio tags, radio frequency tags, and/or image tags. The mobile device may be configured to scan for and identify tags within the user environment that satisfy a user preference. The mobile device may perform an action in response to identifying a tag that satisfies a user preference. The mobile device may be configured to scan for a wide variety of tags, including tags in the form of quick response codes, steganographic content, audio watermarks, audio outside of a human audible range, radio frequency identification tags, long wavelength identification tags, near field communication tags, and/or a Memory Spot device.
20130232340, "Watermark generator, watermark decoder, method for providing a watermark signal, method for providing binary message data in dependence on a watermarked signal and a computer program using improved synchronization concept," assigned to Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (DE)
A watermark generator for providing a watermark signal in dependence on binary message data, the watermark generator has an information spreader configured to spread an information unit to a plurality of time-frequency-domain values, to obtain a spread information representation. The watermark generator also has a synchronization inserter configured to multiplicatively combine the spread information representation with a synchronization sequence to obtain a combined information-synchronization representation. The watermark generator also has a watermark signal provider configured to provide the watermark signal on the basis of the combined information-synchronization representation. A watermark decoder, methods and computer programs are also described.