Welcome to the patent that's all about the next generation telephonic MacBook. For Macites who are road warriors, this could definitely be the patent of the year for you. With LTE and other 4G networks rolling out in 2011, it's clear that Apple is preparing to deliver some pretty interesting MacBooks for us to get excited about in the coming months and years. It's equally clear that Apple has been exploring and testing out several next generation antenna technologies since April of 2008. And while Apple's patent shows us a few of the ways that the telephonic antenna could be implemented in the MacBook, the patent also opens the door to some rather interesting twists that could spice things up for the next generation MacBook. Apple touts that they're the leading portable devices company in the world – and this patent shows us once again that Apple's engineers are out to stay number one for many years to come.
We first introduced you to the Telephonic MacBook this morning and now we're presenting you with somewhat of an adjunct to that report. If you would have blinked yesterday, you could have easily passed over one of Apple's secretive little patent gems. Apparently Apple has purchased a patent from three Oregon based engineers that specifically relates to flat panel image sensor technology. The vast majority of Apple's new patent relates to technology in relationship to next generation x-ray applications. However, there's one application that Apple could be thinking of for this technology and that's Fingerprint Scanning. The patent points to this application in passing - but may in fact be one of the new technologies that Apple could be bringing to their multi-touch display portables sometime in the future. As a security feature, I think it's great. But it's still a technology that creeps me out and I don't think I'm alone on that one.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 21 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group include one relating to an iMac-like computer flex arm, a few design wins for the MacBook Air's SuperDrive and the Apple keyboard with numeric keypad, a great win for Apple's Aperture in relation to RAW processing and finally, the most important of all, a granted patent for Apple's iTunes and integrated iTunes Store.
Late last week the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that revealed various concepts behind a newly advanced Authentication Key generator in development. Some of the patent delves into the tap-tap process similarly used with NFC, which allows for two devices to swap information wirelessly and securely. Yet the key to this patent is that Apple is devising a way to make swapping information between two devices even easier, without tapping via a technology that they dub as the "Exciter." Interestingly, the communication between two devices goes beyond just iPhones. The two devices could be any combination of devices that include an iPod, a Blackberry, MacBook/notebook, camera and/or medical equipment. More importantly, is that this technology will apply to a new class of device that Apple simply lists in their patent as the cyclocomputer - which supports Apple's revelations about the Smart Bike. The simpler method of wirelessly swapping information between two bikers using the Exciter methodology is a perfect application for this technology.
The news out of Taiwan this morning is that Apple will adopt AMD's new Fusion APUs for the next generation of Apple TV. This blockbuster news, if true, could open the door to other Apple-AMD based products later in 2011. This morning's news also adds some other interesting products due to arrive in early 2011 - such as a new ARM Cortex-A9 based processor for the iPad and a second smaller 7 inch iPad. The news also hits a nerve with the revelation that Apple will redesign their iPhone with a forged metal back plate with integrated antenna to remedy any concerns over the iPhone's antenna reception.
In addition to Apple introducing us to their Smart Bike system this week, they also added another workout related application that describes a new workout reminder system that is intended to keep users on track with their workout goals. In particular, the patent is directed to systems and methods for reminding a user about workout goals spanning multiple workouts. In fact, the system could actually calculate your objectives in contrast to your stated time goal and make independent suggestions as to what you'll need to do in order to achieve the goals that you've set out for yourself. In theory it sounds great, but only time will tell if this little wonder is actually intelligent or just an electronic pain in the neck. At the end of the day, when you add this application to Apple's growing portfolio of sporting based patents, you could plainly see the importance that Apple is placing on the future of this health conscious market. All we need now is for Apple to press the "Go" button – and begin rolling some of this stuff out.
Last week Apple introduced us to both a new shopping app and the Virtual Closet. The next in this line of shopping apps is one that works directly with in-mall servers. The new iPhone centric app uses GPS to track your whereabouts in the Mall and to assist you in finding the right stores at the right time for hot sales through what Apple calls a "heat map." The new iPhone app covers a lot of ground here – from being a handy in-mall directory, to allowing you to use your iPhone as an electronic key to access services like a private bathroom, to making an in-mall restaurant or movie reservation, to assisting you with parking, to finding a bell boy and right through to social networking with your friends at the mall. Being that Apple's screenshots display names like Sears, Target and the Gap prominently, it's obvious that Apple has been working with several major chain participants in designing this application in order to modernize our shopping experiences.
On August 5, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals various concepts behind a newly advanced Smart Bicycle System in development. The premise is rather like Apple's Nike + iPod system for runners except for cyclists. While the system is for individuals, it's also designed to work with teams of cyclists so that they could communicate with each other on-the-fly about course difficulty or perceived problems. The Bicycle system monitors speed, distance, time, altitude, elevation, incline, decline, heart rate, power, derailleur setting, cadence, wind speed, path completed, expected future path, heart rate, power, and pace. The system could utilize various sensors built-into the iPhone in addition to working with sensors already built-into the bike itself. Apple's patent is extraordinarily detailed and packed with interesting twists that the sporting cyclist will really appreciate.
On August 4, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark application for their famous Glass Store Architecture. The design covers Apple's Fifth Avenue retail store in N.Y under TEAS Plus Application 85097331. Apple has already filed a trademark covering their Distinctive Retail Store Layout and possesses a patent covering their in-store glass staircase. With Apple's new store in Shanghai China following their glass architectural styling, it stands to reason why Apple is now trying to formalize this design as a unique Apple trademark.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 18 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today covering everything from industrial design wins for Apple's 2008/2009 iMac and their Apple TV along with other patents relating to the iPhone's original 2007 multiband antenna, iPhoto, iMove and more. It should also be noted that CEO Steve Jobs is credited on two of today's granted design patents.
On August 2, 2010, China's Patent Office officially published Apple's registered iPad case design under number 1000992.4. Apple's iPad case has a microfiber interior and reinforced panels provide structure. The case could fold down so as to act as a stand for giving work related table-top presentations or slideshows and could be used casually to watch a movie or even use the onscreen keyboard. Apple introduced the iPad case on the day of iPad's launch.
Prototypes have recently surfaced using Apple devices to show off a new tactile feedback technology. The company behind this next generation tactile technology is Senseg. Senseg's technology isn't powered by mechanical motors like older technology but rather based on virtual touch technology. This means that it doesn't have any mechanical parts that could wear-out. Senseg E-Sense™ software could produce localized tactile feedback in small areas of the surface of the device without having to vibrate the whole surface.