In March of this year NVIDIA unveiled their next-gen graphics processor with 3D memory. In May, Samsung announced that they were shifting their focus to highly advanced 3D NAND flash memory chips that will also be used in future solid state drives. This is where the memory chip industry is going. It also happens to be the subject of one of Apple's latest patent applications that were published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
During Apple's latest Financial Conference Call Apple's CEO pointed out that Apple currently has 90% of the tablet market in education. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new Graphical User Interface for group reading environments such as the education market. The system uses an iPad (or MacBook) to allow students to follow a group reading session where teachers could grade them based on vocabulary, pronunciation, comprehension, emotion, speed, fluency, prosody and so much more. Apple's patent 6a noted above illustrates a group reading session starting.
On October 23, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an extension of their originally granted iTime patent which we covered back in July of this year. Apple's second filing for their watch now emphasizes hand and arm gesturing in their patent claims to shore up that part of their invention that will apply to future versions of Apple Watch. One of the key patent claims protects Apple's use of gestures in relation to "notifications." In-part, this covers one aspect of the first version of Apple Watch due in early 2015. Though in the future, the use of arm and/or wrist gestures could play an extended roll in Apple Watch functionality.
On October 16, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a pop-up menu system for iDevices using pro apps like Apple's Numbers or Pages or Microsoft's Excel or Word that could be customized by the user. The interface will also be able to be used on a future iPad Plus or iPad Pro (whatever they brand it) using a physical keyboard accessory.
On October 16, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an invention relating to future iDevices and CarPlay that will be able to use seamless outdoor to indoor map transitioning. The mapping system could start with in-car navigation to a parking lot and then transition to an indoor parking map and eventually further transition to the inside your destination, be it the inside of a mall, a school, a convention center and beyond. In 2013 Apple acquired WifiSLAM and this invention likely borrows some of their technology.
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.
In September Apple's CEO Tim Cook once again spoke about the horrible state that television is in today with Charlie Rose without committing to what Apple may one day introduce to bring television into the digital age. One area that Apple has been known to be working on regarding television is next generation audio. We covered one such patent application back in January 2013. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals yet another aspect to advanced audio that technically relates to the new Home Theater 3D sound standard that is now under development.
On October 2, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that finally reveals an Apple TV user interface that could be custom fit specifically for your particular iDevice or Mac display size. In 2012 we noted in a patent report that Apple hinted that Siri could be coming to iTunes. Apple notes in this patent filing that using your iPhone with the new Apple TV GUI could take advantage of speech which translates to using Siri. That would be very cool for searches and so forth. We've also noted in the past that companies like LG are now designing future smartphones with dual display so that users will be able to better enjoy Mobile TV services. If this is a future trend for the industry, then Apple's latest Apple TV related invention is step one in getting Apple TV onto mobile devices for future mobile TV services.
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.
The newly revealed Sport Collection of the Apple Watch that is coming to market in 2015 will be using a new kind of cover glass called Ion-X glass which has been patently strengthened. This strengthening process was first uncovered by Patently Apple in an August report covering this patent pending invention. This week, another patent pending invention came to light in Europe about strengthening sapphire glass for larger cover display glass that Apple may use for future iDevices such as the iPhone and iPad.
A new patent application from Apple was published today in Europe. Apple's 120-page document which includes 54 detailed graphics describes how Apple's Mapping App will be able to function in varying types of vehicle infotainment systems. The system will also be able to function plugging an iPhone or iPad into a vehicle's dashboard display and function with touchscreens and non-touchscreen systems. The Mapping App will be able to function differently if not adapt to whatever type of system it's connected to. The system will understand whether your iDevice is connected to A low or high-quality vehicle infotainment system display and whether the system uses dials or a keypad. We know that Apple is working with dozens of car manufactures to integrate CarPlay, yet Apple's invention gives us the impression that they're working on ways to make CarPlay that's running on your iDevice work with less sophisticated in-vehicle infotainment systems.
It was relatively quiet at the US Patent & Trademark Office regarding new innovations from Apple today. We found that Apple tweaked their fused glass and running shoe sensor patents that were first covered back in 2013. The tweaks made to both of these patent pending inventions are restricted to legal patent claims and don't represent anything new technologically speaking. If you happen to be following Apple's ongoing work with their Macroscalar architecture relating to parallelism you could review these three new filings today: one, two and three. Apple's Macroscalar first came to light in a 2009 granted patent report. In 2012 we posted a report about Apple filing a trademark for the word "Macroscalar." The technology was probably applied to Apple's 64 bit A7 processor which was introduced last year for the iPhone 5S. Indirectly, there was one patent of interest today talking about next-gen biometrics for future Ford vehicles that will work with iOS.
Buried in a sea of Apple patent applications that were published earlier this week by the US Patent & Trademark Office, an Apple invention for an alternative method for strengthening sapphire glass came to light. On September seventeenth I posted a report titled "LG Wins Contract for AMOLED Apple Watch Displays & Apple Fulfills Patent," which showed that the new Apple Watch was using a new patent pending sapphire glass strengthening process that we first covered in a report in August using ion steaming. In Apple's latest patent pending invention, we see that a secondary engineering team has worked on an alternative sapphire glass strengthening process. Whether their new process will work itself across the entire Apple Watch family over time or is being aimed for future cover glass applications for the iPhone and iPad is unknown at this time.