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.
On August 14, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Long-Throw Acoustic Transducer." Apple's invention generally relates to the field of audio speakers that use a moving magnetic piston as the sound producing element. The invention will be able to produce more vibrant audio for music and alerts with vibrations for future iDevices.Apple notes that their invention may be advantageous for acoustic transducers that are used in "thin" devices where the height of the acoustic transducer must be small to fit within the device. Theoretically that could mean that this was designed for the iPhone 6 and/or other future iDevices like the iPad mini and beyond. As far as the iPhone goes, we'll know if this was used or not the minute that iFixit does their teardown of the iPhone 6 in September.
An Internet-facing identity management system is vulnerable to a variety of attacks, including account take over, fraudulent activities, creation of fraudulent accounts and denial of service attacks. As hackers and fraudsters are getting better and more sophisticated in online transaction attacks, there is a need to detect and remediate fraud in real-time to protect consumers and businesses. Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new fraud detection ID management system. To a certain degree Apple is already using it context with their iTunes online store. As Apple moves into the ecommerce world with a future iWallet, such a system is going to be a huge benefit to users. So with Apple testing out their new fraud detection system out now, it will ensure that the system is in place once they introduce their iWallet application which, from many accounts, could debut in the next year or two.
Apple introduced a vision for a future version of their Magic Mouse back in 2010 that was the most descriptive patent filing on this subject matter. It described and illustrated how the next generation Magic Mouse would be able to sense a plurality of forces and applied velocities. It went into great detail about advanced gesture profiles for new "brush, scoop, tilt, and slide" capabilities. In 2013 Apple was granted their first patent on force sensing related to the Magic Mouse. Today, Apple has applied for a second patent on this future feature with refinements. In one example of using this future version of their Magic Mouse, Apple notes that "the amount of force may correspond to a height that a character in a video game is instructed to jump." Apple also envisions force sensing capabilities in a future Magic Mouse could apply to very sophisticated custom applications such as flight simulator and beyond.
On Thursday we posted two reports about Siri for the desktop. The first report was titled "Apple Reveals 'Hey, Siri' Feature Relating to Future Apps for Restaurant Reservations, In-Vehicle Functionality and more." The second report was titled "Apple Files Major Siri Patent for Mac Desktop Functionality," showed us that Siri will be coming to the Mac to assist users with email, document searches and editing, opening folders, sending documents to the printer and much more. Although the report covered the overall invention very well, it failed to emphasize what Apple considered as one of the main points of their invention, which was the creation of a new gesture that will invoke Siri on the desktop. Today's follow-up report covers several finer points of Apple's patent application about Siri on the Desktop that you might find interesting.
Patently Apple was first to report that Siri was likely coming to the Mac in Time for iTunes functionality and beyond. Today, Apple went far beyond hinting and clearly presents an invention that will add Siri to the Mac user interface sometime in the future. Apple shows us that Siri will come to the Mac to assist users with email, document searches and editing, opening folders, sending documents to the printer and much more. More than likely Apple will tippy toe into this slowly and logically and all the while adding new functionality where it makes sense. Adding Siri to the desktop further advances Apple's natural user interface.
In December 2013 the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that revealed a new restaurant ordering and reservation system that could work with various Apple iDevices. It covered "Managing a Wait List; an Exemplary Ordering System; and an Exemplary Notification System." Today the US Patent and Trademark Office reveals a new patent application from Apple that introduces an energy-efficient voice trigger that can be used to initiate voice- and/or speech-based services on a device via Siri; a low-powered voice trigger that can provide "always-listening" voice trigger functionality without excessively consuming limited power resources. One of the examples used by Apple relates back to the restaurant reservation system introduced in December.
There have been rumors about a new Touch ID sensor this month and today two patent applications from Apple surface concerning updates to Apple's new fingerprint feature. The first generally relates to circuits that may be used to support fingerprint sensing, including boost circuits, such as inductive boost circuits. The second relates to circuits and packaging for fingerprint sensors.
Only a few Apple inventions per week out of dozens filed present fresh ideas of things to come. Today we published an interesting one about future iWallet security features. Beyond this main invention, we noticed a few other inventions that might interest a few Apple fans. In March Apple was sued in a class action lawsuit by the blind and we pointed out how Apple has done more for the disabled than any other tech company. Then a report in July surfaced about how the disabled wanted Apple to do more for them. Today, two new inventions have come to light that will assist the disabled in different ways at some point in the future on both iDevices and Macs. Another hot topic of late has been the EU's blind attack on Apple regarding In-App transactions. Today a new patent application surfaces that covers the inner workings of Apple's In-App program. And lastly, another invention was published today covering more about Apple's Touch ID fingerprint enrollment feature.
On July 31, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals new security control features for their future iWallet application. The new security system will work with an iPhone and Apple's iTunes Store on a Mac. The controls will allow parents to set boundaries for spending and track all purchases. Apple's patent also introduces us to the digital wallet processing engine. Last week a new rumor surfaced that discussed Apple's iWallet working with Visa's Digital Solutions sometime in the next year. Whether Apple's iWallet will make it to the iPhone 6 is unknown at this time.
Apple's Lightning connector is a proprietary power connector that was designed to replace their previous proprietary 30-pin dock connector, used to connect Apple mobile devices like iPhones, iPads and iPods to host computers and so forth. Lightning is significantly more compact and can be inserted with either side facing up. While Lightning is recognized as a connector advancement for mobile devices, the European Parliament recently ruled that Apple must use the Micro-USB Standard Port for European iDevices by 2017. Today, an Apple patent has surfaced describing a newly invented reversible USB connector with the very same convenience as Lightning. Whether Apple's invention will satisfy the EU Commission is unknown at this time - though I wouldn't count on it.
There's a reason most cheap in-ear headphones sound the way they do – they only use one driver in each ear, which limits the audio range. To get more life, more spaciousness, and more oomph out of your favorite tracks, dual-driver earbuds are the answer and Apple has offered In-Ear headphones with dual-drives for some time. A dual-driver design is also especially good for listening to high-quality audio from lossless rips, to HD videos and other high-bitrate sources. In a new patent application published today by USPTO we see Apple describing possible changes to the internal audio design as well as talk about a three-way driver for the first time. According to Apple, their new invention relates to earphones or earbuds that have multiple speaker drivers and a cross-over network.
Back in 2009 Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple TV to Take Sporting Events to a Whole New Level" which covered a sophisticated heart rate monitor and other highly advanced sporting event based monitoring sensors. The technology that Apple acquired could one day be a part of a "Body Area Network" that was introduced by Dr. Topol back in 2010. While Apple slightly tweaked this patent in 2013, we see today that Apple has submitted a continuation to this crucial patent by changing only the patent claims, in fact, all of the patent claims. Apple's first patent and claims focused on a "Personal Items Network." Apple's latest patent application published today by USPTO carrying the same title, has a new set of patent claims focused on a communication module whereby two devices could be synced together. Considering that Apple has just released their developer HealthKit that is likely to be followed by a possible new health related device this fall, Apple revisiting this patent at this time is important to note.
On July 24, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Liquid Activated Failsafe for Portable Computing Devices. Apple's invention generally relates to computing devices such as next generation MacBooks incorporating new failsafe mechanisms that are designed to prevent electrical shorts in the event that it comes in contact with any liquid.