On January 22, 2015, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their work on improving the technology related to iDevice backlight units. Apple's invention covers new backlight technology that could potentially allow for high power efficiency while avoiding excessive battery drain. While this isn't an exciting whiz-bang invention, saving power can be realistically appreciated by everyone using any Apple MacBook or iDevice.
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.
On October 2, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals new details about their use of two-dimensional touch sensors utilizing force sensors in both current and future touch displays. The new Apple Watch uses such a display with force sensors and Apple notes that such a display could be coming to future iDevices and far beyond.
Apple's first invention relating to a 3D holographic display was back in 2008. Today the US Patent and Trademark Office officially published Apple's second granted patent in this field but takes it to a whole new level aiming for an interactive holographic display for Macs and iDevices like an iPhone or iPad. Apple notes in their granted patent that "The mobile telephone, media player and personal computer can provide a three-dimensional viewing and interacting experience, without the requirement of a reflective medium or wearing 3D glasses. Accordingly, a truly unobtrusive interactive three-dimensional holographic display can be provided."
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.
In early 2013 we reported that Apple had recruited a former senior researcher at LG Display, Dr. Lee Jeung-jil, who was in charge of researching OLED printing technology. So it's obvious that Apple is staying on top of this technology so that they can bring this to market when the time is right. To date Apple has several OLED inventions on record (One, two and three). Apple's current invention clearly acknowledges that OLED has better contrast ratios compared to LCDs while continuing to invent supporting technologies to correct certain OLED weaknesses and/or to fine tune the technology for specific applications or devices. Today's patent application relates to processes for realizing a variable optical path length for one or more microcavities in an AMOLED display. In the shorter term, we reported earlier this week that Apple placed orders for new power reducing Oxide LCD Displays for next year's iPad Air.
On June 5, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals ongoing work on solar cell technology. In Apple's latest invention they advance display technology that integrates solar cell ambient light sensors that may one day work with an iPhone, iPad, iWatch, a Mac, television or a vehicle.
On May 8, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application regarding methods for improving AMOLED displays. Today's patent pending invention covers new methods for greatly improving gray level controls that improves overall color. While some may not take Apple's work on AMOLED too seriously because of disparaging comments that Apple executives have made over time, think again. While Apple's CEO was talking at the Goldman Sachs conference held on February 12, 2013 he stated that "If you buy things online, you should think twice before you depend on the color of the OLED display. The Retina display is twice as bright as an OLED display. Some people use OLED displays, but the color saturation is awful." Yet while Apple's CEO was downplaying OLED publicly, the fact is that Apple had just recruited a former senior researcher at LG Display to work on OLED display technology a week earlier. Apple's executives downplay current OLED displays available from competitors, but that doesn't mean that Apple can't vastly improve upon it for future products that use flexible displays that are primarily OLED based.
On April 24, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a monumental invention relating to an interactive 3D display. At first I thought it might have been a patent from PrimeSense, but the inventors are Apple engineers. Today's discovery is one of those patents where you get goose bumps just thinking about what this could mean for the future.