The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 39 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Our first granted patent report focuses on the iPhone 5's integrated touch technology being granted a patent as well as their 2011 Cinema Display. Apple's new integrated touch technology allowed the iPhone 5 to be much lighter and brighter than previous versions as well as requiring less power.
During Apple's iPhone-5 event in September 2012, Phil Schiller introduced Apple's new, highly advanced "Integrated Touch" display that was one of the upgrades that made the iPhone 5 so much lighter than previous generations. Today, Apple's In-Cell display patent application has come to light. Yet perhaps the real story here is that Apple has clearly stated that this technology could apply to Macs and went out of their way to list the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and even a future iMac. So contrary to Tim Cook's adamant position that Apple has no interest in creating a hybrid MacBook-iPad variant whatsoever, today's patent filing shows that Apple's engineers were obviously given different instructions that contradict Apple's "marketing position." If the new Ultrabook Convertible segment becomes a run-away hit over the next 24 months, it's clear that Apple has a backup plan, just like they did when the 7" tablet segment proved to be the consumer's sweet spot. I personally have my fingers crossed that Apple will surprise us on this front sooner rather than later. Hey, a guy could dream can't he?
On December 27, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two display related patent applications from Apple. The first patent generally relates to liquid crystal displays (LCDs), and, more specifically, to a coated chassis for an LCD. According to Apple, the chassis could be made from a non-conductive material and be operable to support displays found on the iPhone, iPad, MacBook and even the touchpad on MacBooks. The coating could advantageously prevent or reduce noise in the device's antenna usually caused by the LCD. Because the conductive material adds little or no bulk to the device, it's able to maintain a compact size. The second patent relates to LCDs that include a panel having an array of metal oxide TFTs, which may be configured to reduce visual artifacts by providing reduced RC loading and parasitic capacitance, thus improving overall image quality. In one embodiment, the display may be a high-resolution LCD display having more pixels per inch, such as a Retina Display.
On December 6, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their intentions of integrating audio sensors and light emitters right into future displays. The new system could go far beyond just Macs and iDevices. According to Apple, their new invention could apply to visors for video glasses, to televisions screens to intelligently control the audio for various kinds of action and even apply to next-generation in-vehicle systems that will respond more accurately to voice controls. It sure sounds like Apple has big plans for this invention.
On November 29, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published patent applications from Apple covering a new haptic alert for a future iPhone along with a series of seven detailed applications regarding new touchscreen technologies that could be applied to iDevices on through to Apple's Cinema Display.
On June 28, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a system and method to improve image edge discoloration. Yet at the heart of the patent, Apple states that "some embodiments of the LCD panel may be a model of the Retina display, available from Apple Inc." So if you want to know the lowdown on Apple's Resolutionary display, or at least certain aspects of this magical beast, it's now here for you to feast your eyes on.
Since the summer of 2010 Patently Apple has been covering Apple's patent applications regarding a strong trend towards the development of a future MacBook with cellular-data capabilities. Just this past week, Patently Apple has discovered yet another new patent application on this subject in a filing that came to light in Europe earlier this year. This time around, Apple has brilliantly invented cellular antennas that could be integrated into a MacBook's Multi-Touch trackpad or directly into the display of an iOS device like an iPhone. That's important if Apple decides to design a future iPhone with a metal back. Now that the iPad offers 4G, the idea of the MacBook offering similar cellular-data capabilities sounds not only reasonable but inevitable.
I love days like this when we get to see a new and exciting invention from the Crazy Ones in Cupertino. In March there was a rumor that the new iPad would include new advanced haptics that didn't' pan out. But make no mistake about it; Apple is hard at work on delivering such a feature in the future. Apple has filed haptic related patents in In March 2011 and 2012. Yet today's surprise invention packs a punch with a wildly intelligent multi-tiered haptics system. The system will actually allow an iDevice display to deform so that it could provide the user with a button, an arrow or even a geological map to physically pop right out of the screen to give it 3D depth. If that wasn't cool enough, Apple's patent discusses a flexible OLED display that could be used for video glasses. Updated May 04, 2012.
On April 26, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published three interesting patent applications from Apple. In the first one, Apple seeks to patent their Upper West Side (NYC) retail store structure that's located at 67th Street and Broadway. Just last week they filed a similar patent application for their Shanghai Apple Store. This trend of patenting "Flagship" store designs is likely to be a trend that will continue going forward. In a second patent application, we see that Apple has developed a new OLED driver which indicates that Apple is considering OLED for future MacBook and iOS device displays. The advantage to OLED is that display-backlighting isn't required. In the third patent application we see that Apple is legally beefing up their patent pending MacBook Air by including nine related patent applications under one roof. Is Apple making this move to protect their design if challenged or could it be used offensively in the future against copycat OEM designs hiding under Wintel's Ultrabook banner? Time will tell.
Apple certainly has a fascination for avatar creation apps of late. In the last year or so they've invented several interesting avatar related apps including one for a very sophisticated Personal Shopping app for the desktop and another covering Advanced Avatar Editing for the iPhone. In today's latest patent application, Apple reveals a new application in the making that will primarily be used for avatar creation, though Apple does clarify that they may use the underlying technology in other professional applications. On one hand it's like Photo Booth on steroids and on the other hand it's definitely being aimed at the 3D video game market. In either case it'll be a blast to play with on an iPad. In fact, Apple notes that this app could eventually apply to next generation displays that include "movable," heads-up and three-dimensional (e.g., holographic) systems. Now that caught my attention.
It was revealed yesterday by the USPTO that Apple has invented a new laser beam focus system that is used on their production lines overseas. Apple's passion for detail drove them to invent their own laser beam calibration system so as to get their spot-welds just perfect. Would we expect anything less from Apple? And on another front this morning, we learn that Apple may shift from IPS to IGZO displays in 2012. A 32" HDTV prototype using IGZO was demonstrated in Japan in October – which may explain one of Apple's motivators for shifting to IGZO displays.
On December twentieth, The Washington Post reported that "Apple Inc. won a patent-infringement ruling that bans some HTC Corp. smartphones from the U.S. starting next year, bolstering efforts to prove that devices running Google Inc.'s Android operating system copy the iPhone." And today, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially published yet another core iPhone multitouch victory for Apple that will bolster their legal arsenal. This particular multitouch related patent focuses on the oscillator signal and circuit, which are central to sensing a touch event on a touch display. And Finally, we add a Classic Photo collage of Steve Jobs introducing the revolutionary iPhone at Macworld in January 2007. These are images that are seared into most of our memories of Steve.
Yesterday, US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a rather inventive idea of fighting grime on your iOS Devices. We were the first to reveal Apple's initial patent on this subject in August that focused on using a vaporizing method involving a physical vapor deposition chamber. In Apple's latest method, they reveal an alternate method of fighting grime that uses mechanical wave mechanisms that could use audio or physical vibrations. The interesting fact is that Apple has expedited this patent application which was only filed seven months ago. Apple is apparently out to fight grime on all iOS devices in the future, and before you know it, they'll be called the Grime Busters! That's right: Who ya gonna call?Grime Busters!
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 17 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. This morning's first granted patent report focuses entirely on a very interesting invention that relates to display devices, and more particularly, to avoiding luminescence shock (temporary vision impairment) when a display device is activated in a dark environment. When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone back in 2007, he stated that the iPhone was protected by more than 200 patents. Today, we get to review one of the originating patents that he referred to.
While Donald LeBuhn was filing a class action lawsuit against Apple back in January of this year, accusing the company of misleading customers as to the strength of the glass used in its iPhone 4, Apple was already well into inventing new crack resistant glass solutions for portables like the iPhone. The new solution involves a tunable shock mount that sits between the glass and the body of the device. The specialized mount could be instantly inflated if the device senses a drop event determined by its internal accelerometer. Apple's patent describes using exotic materials that could protect the glass from shattering. As a side bonus, Apple is also considering a solution that could provide portable devices with a new water damage prevention seal. Two Updates have been added to this report