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.
On April 3, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their work on next generation multitouch technology that uses FTIR (Frustrated Total Internal Reflection) and capacitive sensing. It's much like the technology that Microsoft calls PixelSense. It's a technology that could sense different pressure levels which could be used for an on-screen gaming controller. If you want speed, just push harder on the display and the car will accelerate. It may also be used for future virtual reality applications. With Apple's recent acquisition of PrimeSense, Apple definitely has something big that they're working on for 3D gaming and/or other advanced applications.
On February 27, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Systems and Methods for Preventing Light Guide Plate Scratching Artifacts." Apple's invention details the possible use of self-healing and Teflon coatings to protect the backlight from being scratched which produces annoying artifacts on iDevice and Mac displays. Apple's gorgeous Retina Displays may soon shine even more with Apple's push to eliminate unsightly artifacts
Apple's Retina Display is a brand name used by Apple for liquid crystal displays that have a pixel density high enough that the human eye is unable to discern individual pixels at a typical viewing distance. Apple created a special video to explain the breakthrough behind the Retina Display. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of four patent applications from Apple that reveal their work on advancing the Retina Display through the use of Quantum Dots that will eventually sharpen colors to yet the next degree of outstanding quality.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 31 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we focus on a single invention that covers future devices that could incorporate several integrated technologies including smart glass or electrochromic glass, backside display cover touch controls and photovoltaic cells that could add a power boost to many devices such as a MacBook or iPad. According to a new research report published today, notebooks and Ultrabooks with built-in LTE connectivity will be a new product category that will gain a lot of traction over the next few years as LTE expands into China and other markets around the globe.
It was reported yesterday that GT Advanced, Apple's manufacturing partner for its new sapphire glass plant in Mesa, Arizona, began advertising job openings at the new plant that will produce sapphire materials that will cover iDevice cameras and Apple's Touch ID Home Button feature. In March we were first to note that Apple may shift to sapphire crystal for future iDevice display covers. Then in September 2013 we posted a report about a new fusion process for adding a sapphire laminate layer to future iDevice cover glass as well as wearables. In December 2013 Apple revealed future iDevices could use flexible sapphire displays created with a sophisticated liquid-metal process. In today's published patent application, Apple once again confirms that iDevices will use sapphire for future iPhone displays and beyond.
In February during the Goldman Sachs Conference, Tim Cook described OLED displays as awful. "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." Cook added that "Some people use OLED displays, but the color saturation is awful." While Apple's CEO downplayed OLED, the fact is that Apple has a great number of patents covering the improvement of OLED displays and in February they recruited a former senior researcher at LG Display to work on display technology. In today's patent application published by the US Patent and Trademark Office we learn that Apple is working to integrate thermal sensors into displays in order to control color. The advantage to OLED that Apple may not be able to ignore is that they can be flexible for future wearable computers like a computer band or iWatch.
In 2012 AppAdvice asked the question: "Will an Anti-Reflective Screen Ever Come to the iPhone and iPad?" Our September patent report covering Apple's patent application titled "UV Mask with Anti-Reflection Coating and UV Absorption Material," answered that question in respect to Apple working on a solution. The timing of this coming to market, of course, is another matter. This morning, Patently Apple was first to discover another Apple patent application on this very subject matter filed in Europe. This time around, Apple's patent pending invention discusses the manufacturing process and machinery associated with layering coatings unto the surface of device cover glass with such protective materials such as anti-scratch, color filters and most importantly, everything to do with anti-reflection materials for future products such as an iPhone, iPad or wearable computer.
Earlier this month we noted in a report that that IGZO displays used in Apple's current and future products will not only be brighter but could eventually reduce power consumption by 50% or more. Getting more life out of our mobile devices is important to all of us and it's a priority at Apple who is working to advance displays that could continue to provide a power savings.
In 2012 AppAdvice asked the question: "Will an Anti-Reflective Screen Ever Come to the iPhone and iPad?" Well, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple today titled "UV Mask with Anti-Reflection Coating and UV Absorption Material," that answers that question. Apple's patent reveals that an anti-reflection film will be added to the manufacturing process of a future iPad display. The new anti-reflective process may extend to other products in the future including the iPhone, other portables and a television.