On January 16, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published 16 patent applications from Apple. Earlier today we posted two reports on subject matters that we felt were the most interesting in the group. The first was about Apple's future iWallet while the second was about a new sensor system for fingerprinting and beyond. That left 14 patent applications unreported on and so we put together a list of the remaining patent applications that are likely to interest some in the Apple community with specific talents and interests. There are a few patents relating to telecom and display technologies along with a few odd balls covering a heat mapping interface and a shared architecture for database systems. If you're a tinkering-kind of individual, then dig right in and enjoy.
Display Related Technologies
Apple's invention generally relates to touch screen display that includes an in-plane switching (IPS) liquid crystal display (LCD) and a touch panel. More specifically, the invention relates to the touch screen display with a transparent shielding layer to reduce noise coupled from the IPS LCD into the touch panel.
Apple's invention relates to device displays. The invention may apply to future hardware which includes a computer monitor, a laptop computer, a tablet computer, a wrist-watch device, pendant device, or other wearable or miniature device, a cellular telephone, a media player, a tablet computer, a gaming device, a navigation device, a computer monitor, a television, or other electronic equipment.
Apple notes that an electronic device with an LCD may have multiple display layers for generating display light such as a color filter layer and a thin-film transistor layer. The display may include first and second layers of optical fibers formed over the display layers. The first and second layers of optical fibers may guide display light generated in the display layers to an outer surface of the display. The first layer of optical fibers may include optical fibers having a first numerical aperture. The second layer of optical fibers may include optical fibers having a second numerical aperture. The first numerical aperture may be smaller than the second numerical aperture. The second layer of optical fibers may include vertical and angled optical fibers. The angled optical fibers may help reduce the size of an inactive region around the center of the display.
More on this invention could be found in Apple's European patent on this subject matter which was filed today. Apple's patent application WO2014011389 is titled "Display with Minimized Border Regions." The graphic noted above is from that patent.
General, Mobile Devices
Apple's invention generally relates to a relatively simple protocol for transferring files and other data between endpoints. The endpoints are a host electronic device and a client electronic device. The connection between the end points can utilize a reliable stream transport connection. Communication is accomplished utilizing packets that have a header and a body with information to be used in transmitting data between the end points. Various packet types are utilized to achieve data transfer.
Today, merchants can track customer buying patterns. If customers make purchases during their visits using a "loyalty card," then the merchants can track purchases by customers. Using a loyalty card, a user can receive a discount or other reward for repeated purchases with a particular merchant. Also, conventionally, use of a particular credit card for a purchase made at a particular merchant can also facilitate monitoring customer buying patterns. However, when no purchases are made, merchants generally have no understanding of who are visiting their stores and how often. As a result, in many instances, merchants are not able to reward its repeat patrons.
Apple's invention pertains to computer-implemented techniques for providing relevant information to mobile electronic devices. According to one aspect, usage of mobile electronic devices can be monitored and usage data can be formed. The usage data can then be used to perform an action. The action can operate to provide more relevant information, such as digital (e.g., online) information or rewards, to the user. In one embodiment, usage of mobile electronic devices can be monitored and users of such mobile electronic devices can be provided with rewards based on their usage. Another aspect of the invention pertains to monitoring locations of a mobile electronic device for a duration of time and then providing location-specific information based on the locations of the device.
As a method for providing patrons with rewards, one embodiment of the invention includes at least the acts of: detecting presence of a mobile electronic device at a particular establishment; updating a presence indicator regarding the particular establishment if the presence of the mobile electronic device at the particular establishment is detected; obtaining one or more reward rules associated with the particular establishment; and determining whether a reward is due to the mobile electronic device or its user based on presence indicator and the one or more reward rules.
Telecom Related Technologies
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