On January 15, 2015, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of three patent applications from Apple that detail the specifics behind Apple Pay via Touch ID. The patent filings meticulously detail how the system will work with making future banking transactions or at current participating retailers and for purchasing apps and other digital media online via the App Store, iTunes and future online stores. The sole inventor behind all three patents that were originally filed in 2013 is Apple's software engineer Greg Kerr who came to Apple via the Authentec acquisition. Greg was VP of Software Development at Authentec.
On Jan 8, 2015, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals certain aspects of the technology behind fingerprint sensors that measure fingerprint patterning using electric field sensing. Apple notes that when the voltages on the finger are too high, as when using Touch ID, certain persons with very sensitive fingers may feel that voltage in form of a slight tingling. Apple's invention shows Apple's work on this problem that likely took place prior to Touch ID coming to market.
On December 18, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new unlock option being devised. The new method would involve Touch ID and the addition of a combination lock code using finger motion. While using Touch ID, the user would additionally move or shift their finger in various directions to hit a particular code sequence to unlock their devices. Apple illustrates two methods for this new virtual combination unlock feature in their patent filing.
On October 9, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two patent applications from Apple that cover technologies relating to fingerprint ID and flexible displays with bent edges. The latter may have been applied to Apple's latest Apple Watch. Our report provides you with a brief intro to each of these inventions.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 48 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover a major invention relating to a multimode fingerprint scanner. The first scanner is noted as being a "stationary" mode scanner designed for the Home Button as it is today for unlocking the display and making purchases on iTunes. A secondary scanner is shown to be set in a secondary location on an iPhone that is considered a "moving mode" scanner designed specifically for financial transactions and our report will tell you why Apple is seriously considering this new moving mode. Apple's granted patent also indicates that the financial system component supports NFC which is rapidly becoming the industry standard. Whether Apple will actually use this standard remains an open question.
Apple was granted a patent this week for their In-Cell or "Integrated Touch" display technology. Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office published Apple's patent application for their latest technology regarding "In-Cell for LED" or OLED/AMOLED displays. In a secondary patent filing Apple focuses on fingerprint imaging and quality characterization. One of the patent figures illustrates the iPad integrating Touch ID which is likely to debut this fall.
There have been rumors about a new Touch ID sensor this month and today two patent applications from Apple surface concerning updates to Apple's new fingerprint feature. The first generally relates to circuits that may be used to support fingerprint sensing, including boost circuits, such as inductive boost circuits. The second relates to circuits and packaging for fingerprint sensors.
Only a few Apple inventions per week out of dozens filed present fresh ideas of things to come. Today we published an interesting one about future iWallet security features. Beyond this main invention, we noticed a few other inventions that might interest a few Apple fans. In March Apple was sued in a class action lawsuit by the blind and we pointed out how Apple has done more for the disabled than any other tech company. Then a report in July surfaced about how the disabled wanted Apple to do more for them. Today, two new inventions have come to light that will assist the disabled in different ways at some point in the future on both iDevices and Macs. Another hot topic of late has been the EU's blind attack on Apple regarding In-App transactions. Today a new patent application surfaces that covers the inner workings of Apple's In-App program. And lastly, another invention was published today covering more about Apple's Touch ID fingerprint enrollment feature.
There have been rumors of an improved fingerprint sensor in the works for the iPhone 6 and perhaps the next versions of the iPad of late. The rumors hinted that Apple's next batch of fingerprint sensors would be more durable than the Touch ID home button on current iPhones. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Finger Sensor including Encapsulating Layer over Sensing Area and related Methods" that may very well support the latest rumors. According to the patent filing, the improved biometric sensor could advantageously have the ability to reduce packaging while providing mechanical robustness.
On June 19, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published patent applications from Apple related to advancing Apple cameras for iDevices and Macs along with another original Touch ID patent that Apple acquired from Authentec. Apple's camera related patent is about advancing the actuator of an autofocus feature. While it's mildly interesting, it's the use of the term "artificial muscle" that makes it sound so incredibly futuristic, but really isn't. Apple notes that the term simply relates to electro-active polymer actuators which have been around for some time. Apple's use of it in a camera module isnt' new either as noted here and here. When this technology is applied to an artificial robotic hand, for instance, it could be understood why they use the term artificial muscle as seen here. And finally, a second patent of mild interest published today relates to one that Apple acquired from Authentec that presents the invention behind Touch ID authentication that focused on the biometrics being imlplemented into a smartphone Home Button.
On May 29, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Biometric Sensor for Human Presence Detection and Associated Methods." The object of this present invention is to provide human presence verification with increased speed and accuracy, and with reduced user interaction using biometrics.
On April 24, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of three patent applications from Apple that revisits the many authentication systems that Apple is working on beyond just a fingerprint scanner. Apple touches on retinal scanning, eye tracking, voice prints and other systems for the iPhone and MacBook Pro alike. For the MacBook Pro, the biometric sensor could be built right into a familiar keyboard key or in the palm rest. Lastly, Apple adds retina scans to one of their patents patent claims to ensure that it's a protected future feature option.