One of many recently surfaced patent applications signed Apple indicates that the Cupertino-based giant would like to secure the rights to an invention that uses the built in accelerometer in iDevices to determine how hard of a tap the screen has received.
GarageBand is one application that uses this concept.
Basically, as the user plays with some drums or a keyboard-based instrument, the harder the instrument is struck, the louder the sound / musical note comes out the speakers.
In music programs (sequencers in general), “velocity” denotes the speed or force with which a note has been struck. Although Apple is not using the term, this is what the latest patent uncovered by Patently Apple refers to.
Dealing exclusively with Apple patents and inventions, the website in question notes that as many as 50 Apple patents were published the day after Apple's special iPad 2 event.
One of the so-called ‘key’ findings was this GarageBand patent that talks about a new technology built into the software to support the ability to go from a low energy signal to a high energy signal, depending on how hard the user taps on the screen.
According to the text accompanying Apple’s patent application, "An onset may be detected in the audio signal as a transition from low energy to high energy. Such energy transition may correlate to musical actions, such as playing a note on a keyboard, striking a drum, or strumming a guitar string."
“[The onset detection] could include exact representation of a target audio signal that facilitates identification of the onsets and specific peak selection routines developed to accurately and automatically identify musically important events," the documentation reveals.
According to the imagery provided by Apple for its invention, GarageBand might make it on the iPhone and iPod touch as well,
Apple adds that "the data processing system could include one or more computers (e.g., a desktop computer, a laptop), a smartphone, personal digital assistant, etc."
According to Patently Apple, by "smartphone" Apple means the iPhone, and by "personal digital assistant" the company means iPod touch.