Apple to Support Video Ringtones on iPhone

By  at Tuesday, March 08, 2011  

Apple recently filed a patent which describes methods for creating video ringtones for iPhone. Specifically, the technology will allow users to automatically combine sound and video from various sources, including iTunes and iMovie, to create custom audio-visual alerts for incoming phone calls.
In a simple example, visuals displayed on the device would react to associated audio much like a visualizer in iTunes. In another example, a layered composite could be assembled from multiple video or photographic sources. These layers could be independently animated based on different characteristics in the audio track, such as its mix of high and low frequencies.

The visuals would not be limited to 2D content. Apple's system could offer visual effects in 3D space, including movement, appearance, shape and differing camera angles.

The patent also describes a means for callers to send the "seed" information about a particular song or video. These caller "signatures" could further alter the visual experience for the recipient or offer dynamic links to relevant content for the receiver to check out later. Aside from offering a unique new method for verifying the identity of incoming callers, Patently Apple suggests this technology could bring social networking concepts to ringtones by allowing users to share their latest favorite songs and videos with the people they are calling.
To be fair, animated ringtone is not a new idea. iFoneTec already offer video ringtone software for both iPhone and Android. Existing video ringtone solutions appear limited to playing the same video clip every time a call comes in from a specified contact. Apple's proposed new technology seems to offer a more dynamic and extremely customizable experience that can be configured to some extent by both the caller and the receiver.

Actually, this still on a theoretical phase, it still not confirmed if Apple will proceed this cool patent to work on iPhones or not. [via TUAW]

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