Last August Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple Granted 7 Design Patents for Specialty In-Store Apple Watch Tables." Today, Apple was granted three detailed utility patents covering their smart Apple Watch table that covers everything you can imagine and more. For instance, did you know that the Apple Watch table actually has a built-in cooling system? Many Apple fans and industrial designers alike will appreciate Apple's two patent filings that are full of fine detailing.
The Smart Apple Watch Table with Cooling System
Apple notes that their Apple Watch table cooling system protects the watches housed within the display cavity and the display cavity itself from excessive heat. Apple Watches may generate heat due to the operation of their internal electronics (e.g., processors and/or batteries). Additionally, external factors, such as sunlight or ambient temperature, may cause the temperature within the display cavity to rise.
Smart Cooling Fans
The new Apple Watch tables can be programed so that the table fans either slow down or intermittently stop so as to control the noise levels in Apple Stores. Apple notes that "High noise levels may distract consumers and retail store employees or may make conversation difficult and may create a loud and unappealing store environment. Audio sensor(s) coupled to the table's system controller may detect the noise in a store and determine when the decibel level within the store exceeds a first predetermined value. Once the decibel level exceeds the first predetermined value, the controller may be configured to turn off one or more fans and/or decrease the speed of one or more fans so as to decrease the decibel level within the store.
Apple further notes that "In some embodiments, the software may be configured to prioritize temperature control over noise control."
The Apple Watch tables are also noted as having a 'Security system' configured to receive signals from security switches and trigger an alarm so as to alert a user (e.g., store owner) of potential theft. The security system may also receive and send signals to lock mechanisms so as to control access to display cavity and/or its compartments.
Table full of Sensors
Apple later notes that the types of sensors that may be used in the tables include, but are not limited to, fingerprint sensors, radio-frequency identification (RFID) sensors, motion sensors, capacitive touch sensors, and bar code (including quick response (QR) code) scanners.
A motion sensor may send a signal in response to sensing the motion of an object, such as a hand. A capacitive touch sensor may send a signal in response to sensing a touch, for example, the touch of a finger. An RFID sensor may send a signal upon sensing identification information on an employee's or technical assistant's RFID card. A bar code scanner may send a signal upon reading a bar code associated with, for example, an employee or technical assistant.
The Smart Apple Watch table patent filing is full of additional details about the charging and lighting systems along with dozens of other detailed patent figures to review and more. To review Apple's patent application 20150331508 click here.
Apple's second patent on this table could be found under application 20160058206. And finally, Apple's third Apple Watch table patent covers their second styled table, as noted below, where Apple Store reps allow customers to try on various watches and bands. The table has drawers to house the test devices. All three of the patent applications were originally filed in Q3 2015, around the same time that the table design patents were surfacing in Hong Kong.
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