The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our second and final granted patent report of the day, we cover patents relating to integrated touch displays and Apple's famed gimballed scroll wheel. We close out our report with links to 5 additional granted patents with emphasis on one covering parallel computing which relates to Apple's OpenCL.
Apple Receives Granted Patent for Integrated In-Plane Switching
In our September twentieth report titled "Apple's iPhone 5 'EarPods' & other Patents Come to Light," we pointed to Apple introducing Integrated Touch into the iPhone 5 and linked to one of the patents that were related to that technology. Today, Apple has been granted a second patent relating to this technology.
Apple has received a Granted Patent that relates to adding multi-touch functionality to a display without the need of a separate multi-touch panel or layer overlaying the display. Instead, embodiments of the invention can advantageously utilize existing display circuitry to provide multi-touch functionality while adding relatively little circuitry that is specific to the multi-touch functionality. Thus, by sharing circuitry for the display and the multi-touch functionalities, embodiments of the invention can be implemented at a lower cost than the alternative of superimposing additional multi-touch related layers onto an existing display panel. Furthermore, since the display and multi-touch functionality can be implemented on the same circuit, they can be synchronized so that noise resulting from the display functionality does not detrimentally affect the multi-touch functionality and vice versa.
Apple credits Steve Hotelling and John Zhong as the inventors of granted patent 8,274,492 which was originally filed in 2007 and revised in Q4 2011.
Apple Receives Granted Patent for Gimballed Scroll Wheel
Apple has received a Granted Patent that relates to gimballed scroll wheel that is still used in Apple's iPod shuffle, iPod Classic and Apple TV's controller. Technically speaking, Apple's invention covers devices, including computing devices, that use at least two different input devices substantially simultaneously to generate a single command. One example of two different input devices may include a movement detector, such as a mechanical switch, and a position indicator, such as a touch pad or touch screen. By using such different input devices in combination, the number of operations that can be controlled by these two input devices can be increased. In addition, the benefits associated with each of these two different input devices can be used while making the command. These input devices may also be layered, one on top of the other, further decreasing the amount of space on a device used by the input devices.
In some embodiments the input device may include a movement detector, such as a dome switch, placed under a platform that includes a position indicator. The device can then use the movement of the platform in making selections. Since this movement can be felt by a user of the device, this configuration allows the device to give tactile feedback to the user while the user is making a selection. This tactile feedback can further be improved by configuring the device to provide a "click" sensation when the platform is depressed.
When the platform is depressed or otherwise moved by a user's finger (or stylus or other device), a movement detector can detect this movement. In this manner, the platform operates as a button. In some embodiments the entire platform may be depressed. In other embodiments, a portion of the platform may be depressed, causing the platform to tilt or "gimbal."
Examples of devices that may use the input devices described in Apple's patent herein include media players, desktop computers, laptop computers, keyboard units, personal digital assistants (PDAs), cellular phones, and remote controls.
Apple credits Christopher Prest, Fletcher Rothkopf and Richard Dinh as the inventors of this patent which was originally filed in Q and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Final Patent Round-Up
Over and above the granted patents that were specifically reported on today, we present you with links to all of the remaining granted patents in our Final Patent Round-Up as follows:
Apple's invention relates generally to data parallel computing. More particularly, this invention relates to data parallel computing across both CPUs (Central Processing Units) and GPUs (Graphical Processing Units).
Apple's patent FIG. 1 which is presented in our cover graphic, is a block diagram illustrating one embodiment of a system to configure compute devices including CPUs and/or GPUs to perform data parallel computing for applications.
Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.