The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 41 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover three specific granted patents. The first relates to possible new iDevice & Mac authentication options. The second covers polarized flexible glass for future devices such as MacBooks and wearable computers. The third covers a superior manufacturing process that will deliver a stronger scratch-off material for promotional cards like gift or pre-paid phone cards and more. We conclude today's report with a full list of the granted patents issued to Apple for those who wish to do some treasure hunting.
Apple Granted another Authentication Related Patent
Apple has been granted a patent today for their invention relating to accessing an iDevice or Mac, and, more particularly, to a method, apparatus, and system for controlling access to devices based upon varying inputs.
When it comes to the authentication process of unlocking our iDevices we currently use a numeric pad to set a combination code. In the not-too-distant future, Apple will be introducing a fingerprint sensor/scanner into iDevices. The technology will eventually make its way to the Mac via various methods such as the keyboard, trackpad or touch display.
Apple presents alternate methods of unlocking devices, computers and/or applications using hand and/or audio gesturing. The new system could also provide new parental controls covering to limit access to certain types of games, music and/or inappropriate applications.
In Apple's patent FIG. 4 noted above we see a stylized depiction of a device receiving an audio gesture. A predetermined voice or sound may be recorded into the device. This voice recordation or sound may be used by the device when receiving a matching auditory signal, to provide access to one or more applications in the device.
The access input or the audio gesture received by the device may be a certain sound, tone, sequence of letters, words or numbers, codes, etc. Further, speech recognition capabilities may be used by the device to perform speech recognition and provide appropriate access and unlocking of the device and/or provide access to one or more applications.
In patent FIG. 7 noted below we see a block diagram depicting steps related to accessing a device. The device may receive access input data from a user. The access input data may include touch-screen gestures, voice gestures, audio input signals, keyboard/keypad and/or mouse inputs.
Apple credits Jianxiong Shi as the sole inventor of this granted patent which was originally filed in Q3 2010 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. To review today's granted patent details and 24 patent claims, see Apple's patent.
Apple Granted Patent for Flexible Glass for Macs, Wearable Computers and iDevices
Apple has been granted a patent today for their invention relating to optical polarizers and, more particularly, to polarizers in the displays of electronic devices. In general, polarizers cut down on the reflections on a display. Apple's display process may also allow for the inclusion of anti-static, anti-smudge and other properties.
According to Apple, polarizer structures in a display may be formed using a flexible layer of glass. The flexible glass layer may be sufficiently thin to allow the flexible glass layer to be dispensed from a roll of glass during manufacturing. The flexible glass layer may, for example, be dispensed from a roll of glass and laminated to other sheets of material to form polarizer structures using roll-to-roll lamination equipment.
Polarizer structures that have been formed in this way may be divided into panels using cutting equipment such as laser cutting equipment. After the polarizer structures have been cut into panels, the panels may be laminated to liquid crystal display structures, organic light-emitting-diode display structures, or other display structures using sheet-to-sheet lamination tools.
A polarizer structure for a display may include a flexible glass layer, a polarizer layer such as a layer of polyvinyl alcohol doped with iodine, and one or more additional layers such as tri-acetyl cellulose layers and birefringent layers.
Ultraviolet-light-blocking material may be incorporated into a display to prevent damage to the polarizer layer and other light sensitive layers. An ultraviolet-light-blocking material may, for example, be interposed between a flexible glass layer and a polyvinyl alcohol polarizer layer to prevent ultraviolet light damage to the polyvinyl alcohol polarizer layer.
Coatings such as antireflection coatings, antistatic coating, and anti-smudge coatings may be provided on the polarizer structures.
Apple states that electronic devices that could use this invention includes a MacBook, iPhone , iPad, an iPod touch, wrist watch or other wearable or miniature device, a headphone device, earpiece device, or other electronic equipment.
About Apple's Patent Figures
Apple's patent FIG. 1 noted above is a perspective view of an illustrative electronic device of the type that may be provided with a polarizer with a flexible glass layer; FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional side view of a moth's eye coating of the type that may be used on a flexible glass layer in a polarizer; FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional side view of an illustrative polarizer with a flexible glass layer having antistatic and anti-smudge layers that are configured to serve as an antireflection coating; FIG. 11 is a schematic diagram of an illustrative system that may be used in evaluating reflection image clarity; and FIG.24 is a cross-sectional side view of illustrative configurations for electronic devices having polarizers with flexible glass layers.
Apple credits Masato Kuwabara, Cheng Chen, Benjamin Rappoport, Ronald Lue and John Zhong as the inventors of granted patent 8,525,405 which was originally filed in Q1 2012. To review this patent and its 20 claims, see Apple's patent.
Apple Granted a Patent for Transaction Card with Dual Scratch and Peel Label
The last granted patent that we cover in our report relates to various types of cards (transaction, discount, pre-paid, gift) and coupons that will utilize a stronger dual scratch and peel label process so as to better conceal information on these types of products.
More specifically, the transaction card may be a gift card, pre-paid telephone card, discount card, coupon, or any other type of transaction card having a unique code or redemption code printed thereon. The redemption code may be used to redeem the product or service and is generally initially concealed or made invisible. In another example, the transaction card may be a lottery-type card having concealed symbols, prizes, and the like.
Apple states that the inconsistency in design of this kind of product and variation in user techniques of scratching off these peel-off areas can lead to user frustration, such as when a user accidentally scratches and/or removes the concealed information while attempting to merely remove the scratch-off surface.
In other words, users can mistakenly scratch even through the concealed information under the scratch-off surfaces, thereby losing the ability to access the concealed information. Additionally, scratching off a scratch-off surface produces undesired debris. Apple's patent provides a series of improvements to make the scratch and peel process more reliable and safe.
How Apple plans to introduce any such scratch-off cards in the future is unknown at this time. For those interested in reviewing Apple's patent on this dual scratch and peel label process could do so here. Apple's patent was originally filed in Q1 2011 by Ted Biskupski.
The Remaining Patents Granted to Apple Today
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.