Some weeks there just isn't a wining patent declared by a rocking TKO. This week is such a case but that doesn't mean that that there weren't a series of solid inventions, because there were. A series of patent applications came to light today relating to improvements in the works for iDevice haptics, Apple's iSight camera, flash memory and accessibility for the hearing impaired. More times than not it's the simple utility patents like these that end up being implemented by Apple.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-five newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. This particular report covers a single, wild and crazy patent that touches on advancing television, advanced 5D technology, interactive gaming, teleconferencing, advanced tactile feedback technology, virtual reality data gloves and even a unique touch signature for starting a future vehicle. Is that wild enough for you?
Specialty glass Company Corning, famous for its "gorilla glass" used in Apple devices, has an ultra-slim flexible glass called "willow glass" that has the potential to enable displays to be wrapped around a device. Corning said it's currently shipping samples of willow glass, which is compatible with OLED displays, to companies. Companies like Samsung and Microsoft already have patents on this type of concept and Nokia has a concept video that's very interesting. The race to overtake Apple's iPad is hot, as competitors team up with cutting edge University research labs to find that next great thing that could topple the iPad. Yet Tony Fadell, Apple's former Senior Vice President of the iPod Division, thinks that Apple has more technology coming to the iPad that will keep the iPad on top.
On May 24, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that sheds more light on their future iPen and related graphics program. Apple continues to spend time and R&D funding on a future iPen device that's being designed to work with all of Apple's tablet-styled iDevices. The focus found in today's invention is twofold. Firstly, Apple is thinking of adding advanced haptics to the iPen so that the end user will be able to feel brush strokes and/or line thicknesses for example. Secondly, Apple is designing the iPen with a built-in mini speaker so as to provide users with various forms of audio feedback. To make all of this interesting and relevant, Apple sheds a little light on how their iPen will work with either a new graphics/paint program of their own and/or with known apps such as Autodesk and Microsoft's Paint.
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.
A new patent application from Apple this morning shows us that they're looking at delivering a little more buzz to future iOS devices. Then again, it could be a pulse, vibration and/or other sensation because what's being described here is advanced haptics. The buzz before the launch of the "new iPad" was that Apple was going to introduce haptics from Senseg that would give users the ability to actually feel textures on their new Resolutionary Retina Display. I was stunned at the quality of the Retina display and I would have flipped if they would have added this feature. But it wasn't meant to be, just yet. Apple first introduced the idea of bringing haptics to the iPhone a year ago and today's patent sheds a little more light on the subject. Advanced haptics will freak us out at the realism it could bring to science books, artwork, photography – and yes, games. Advanced Haptics could very well end up being a game changer for the senses, to be sure. With a little patience, we'll one day have our cake and eat it too.
Have you ever been in a meeting where someone forgot to set their phone to vibrate for incoming calls? Sometimes to be polite, you may smile at the person because the ringtone is the Flintstones theme or some other silly tune and then there are other times when your nostrils will flare if you're in the middle of a pivotal point in your presentation when the stupid phone will ring. Yes, those are the dumb-phones and Apple wants to change all of that and put smart haptics into their future iPhones to really make them, well, smart. Apple's plans are quite extensive to ensure that no matter what environment you're in, your future iPhone will be able to adapt and/or adjust the alert to whatever is needed and appropriate – autonomously. Yes, like in meetings.
On February 17, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals the next chapters for both their iPad and MacBook portable devices. Apple first discussed future plans regarding a smart bezel for their iPad and iPod touch a year ago while hinting at new hovering capabilities just last week. The idea is to give Apple's iPad bezel easy yet invisible controls. In today's patent application, Apple really spells out how the smart bezel may not require a Home Button and added controls like volume will simply require a swipe of your finger. If that wasn't enough, Apple kicks everything up a notch by talking about a Live and Reconfigurable touch interface for future MacBooks. This has a lot of potential if Apple's haptic technology advances accordingly. It's the device every OEM on the planet is trying to master and it sure looks like Apple is getting a whole lot closer than most. Go Apple!
One of the surprises that surfaced at the US Patent and Trademark Office this morning, was a granted patent for a new Magic Glove System from Apple. Being that Apple loves the word Magic, why not precast it as such right out of the gate. The proposed high tactility glove system isn't as magical as a projection-type of touch panel that was revealed in November. Then again, patents are about concepts and Apple is clearly working on several solutions relating to working with an iPhone in colder weather. Perhaps we'll see one of these solutions come to market sometime in the next year or two.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 13 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Some of the notables within this group include theiPhone's Wireless Communications Circuitry, the technology behind the MacBook and Magic Trackpads including haptics and haptels – and lastly a major win for gesturing. The gesturing patent interestingly relates to the iPad and/or larger surfaces including future "hover" surfaces where real-world gestures could be introduced.
Prototypes have recently surfaced using Apple devices to show off a new tactile feedback technology. The company behind this next generation tactile technology is Senseg. Senseg's technology isn't powered by mechanical motors like older technology but rather based on virtual touch technology. This means that it doesn't have any mechanical parts that could wear-out. Senseg E-Sense™ software could produce localized tactile feedback in small areas of the surface of the device without having to vibrate the whole surface.
On June 24, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals various concepts behind a newly advanced shape shifting device interface that could transform a flat interface into a physical 3D embodiment. It could create a physical tactile keypad on a future iPhone or iPod Classic interface and technically provide the iPad with a physical-like keyboard. This incredible concept is packed with wild concepts that could transform a device automatically by simply being in a room with a notable temperature change. The concept could alter an iPod Classic to be a TV remote with various buttons in a configurable interface that will blow your mind. This is definitely a candidate for patent of the year and if Apple ever gets this out to market, it's ball game over for the iPhone and iPod wannabe's of this world.