On March 7, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published ten original patent applications from Apple. In this report we focus on Apple's invention that generally relates to advancing facial recognition and detection technology in an application such as iPhoto and/or Aperture. We close out our report with links to a number of other Apple inventions that were published today covering "Managing Access to Digital Content Items," a new "Charge Recycling System," and more.
On March 07, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published ten original patent applications from Apple. In this report we focus on Apple's invention regarding a new speaker system that integrates a sound radiating surface. We covered Apple's original work on this sound system back in 2012 in our report titled "Apple Reinvents Speakerphone System for iOS Devices."
Every once in a while we check out various IP databases around the world to see if we could find any Apple activity. Well, Bingo, we found three all new smart pen patents from Apple that are chock full of great ideas. In between Apple's US patent filings published in May and December, Apple's engineers were filing new patents in Europe that were published just two months ago. These have not been published in the US yet and so they're new to us. And boy does Apple go deeply into the rabbit hole or what. Apple has a ton of new ideas on how to advance the smart pen. Yet the one twist that I thought was intriguing is that Apple appears to be seriously thinking of turning smart pen tips into an accessory business. Do you want your pen to be a brush? No problem, here is a new pen tip for that: Ka-Ching. Do you want your pen to double as a bar code reader? No Problem, here is a tip for that: Ka-Ching. And there are a lot of "Ka-Chingy" ideas in these three new patents to go around. Check it out.
On February 28, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals technology that could support a future iPhone with satellite capabilities. Satellite phones or satphones are popular on expeditions into remote areas where terrestrial cellular service is unavailable. Apple's patent filing states that the use of satellites for personal and business communications is an important technique in global communication networks. Satellite communication systems provide obvious benefits that allow users to transmit and receive communication signals over a large footprint.
On February 28, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a system for magnetically attaching a tablet device to a supporting structure. Apple presents us with a series of possible new iPad stand configurations for such applications as a super advanced music stand, a way to connect two iPads together to create a notebook with a large virtual keyboard or a way to create a portable gaming system with an advanced video game controller. Apple has some wild ideas worth noting in this invention.
On February 21, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published 16 original patent applications from Apple not including their continuation filings. While we covered a number of the higher profile patent applications this morning, our wrap-up patent report covers a few patents relating to camera technologies, magnet machining, communications and a dozen more. For those of you who love to know everything that Apple's engineers are working on, there's a treasure trove of links to the original patent filings for you to track down and check out. Good hunting.
On February 21, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that they're working on extending tools for users reading an iBook, iMagazine, document, electronic newspapers and likely the web. The tools go beyond the traditional use of "copy" and "paste." Apple wants readers to be able to easily and quickly highlight text, share an article, make notes or access search all from a new customizable floating tool bar. Apple also illustrates that they're likely to add a new "card" element users could call up so as to better keep track of formal notes or to have them handy during a presentation. Our report covers a ton of graphics illustrating the new floating tool bar options to help you visualize what Apple is thinking of introducing in a future iOS upgrade. At present, Apple has implemented this specifically for iBooks and iBook Textbooks as shown in this example screenshot. Here's to hoping that Apple's tools will spill over for the rest of us who surf the web for news and research on a daily basis.
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?
Well, talk about timing. The buzz over Apple's iWatch has been at fever pitch all week. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an advanced wearable computer in the form of a bracelet that could double as a watch. That's the key, as the bracelet goes far beyond being a wristwatch. Apple states that with a multitouch display, the user "can accomplish a number of different tasks including adjusting the order of a current playlist, or reviewing a list of recent phone calls. A response to a current text message can even be managed given a simple virtual keyboard configuration across the face of the flexible display." Apple also contemplates utilizing a solar panel beneath the display as well as take advantage of kinetic energy. This is one hot little invention and the drum that's been beating very loudly of late calling for an iWatch, appears to be well into development. Report Update March 01, 2013
In late January Patently Apple reported that production of Apple' iPhone 5 at Hon Hai had begun to utilize a robotic workforce. Hon Hai is aiming to have more than a million robots on their production line over the next few years covering everything from precision work right down to finishing work like polishing. Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office revealed Apple's patent application for an invention relating to a robotic arm designed for the finishing process of products such as the iPhone. Today's patent report closes by presenting you with a wide range of other patent filings that were published today covering such matters as the MagSafe 2 connector and Apple's Internal LCD display testing methodology.
On February 7, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published 32 patent applications from Apple for which 12 of them were continuation patents. In this report we briefly cover two of Apple's latest inventions. The first relates to a future iPhone's hearing aid detection technology and the second relates to Apple's application of nano-silica fiber coatings in such hardware as the iPhone. We close out our report with a listing of ten additional patent applications with one of them relating to the original iPod Shuffle that lists Apple's Late Cofounder and CEO Steve Jobs as the lead inventor.