Back in 2012 we originally covered Apple's 3D eye-tracking interface invention that described 3D UI effects such as parallax, interaction within a virtual 3D world and more. Then late in December 2014 we covered Apple's granted patent regarding this technology. The patent was titled "Three dimensional user interface effects on a display by using properties of motion." Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a new patent application from Apple that shows that they're updating their 3D invention. The additions are key and in sync with a newly discovered patent in Europe today regarding a 3D camera.
A year ago Apple added the camera function known as Burst mode to iOS 7. At the top of the year Apple acquired a one-man photo technology startup called "SnappyLabs," which specialized in a camera app for burst mode capture. Today, Apple's Burst Mode patent filing comes to light. (Click on our cover graphic to enlarge the image.)
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 34 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover a single patent regarding a possible future infrared system for iOS cameras. On one hand the technology could turn your iOS device into a kind of automated tour guide for museums or cityscapes as well as eventually being an automatic retail clerk providing customers with price, availability and product information. It's an angle that might work very well with "Apple Pay" in the future. On the other hand, there's a controversial aspect to this invention and our report will tell you why. We wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
On June 19, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published patent applications from Apple related to advancing Apple cameras for iDevices and Macs along with another original Touch ID patent that Apple acquired from Authentec. Apple's camera related patent is about advancing the actuator of an autofocus feature. While it's mildly interesting, it's the use of the term "artificial muscle" that makes it sound so incredibly futuristic, but really isn't. Apple notes that the term simply relates to electro-active polymer actuators which have been around for some time. Apple's use of it in a camera module isnt' new either as noted here and here. When this technology is applied to an artificial robotic hand, for instance, it could be understood why they use the term artificial muscle as seen here. And finally, a second patent of mild interest published today relates to one that Apple acquired from Authentec that presents the invention behind Touch ID authentication that focused on the biometrics being imlplemented into a smartphone Home Button.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 45 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's patent for a MEMS based autofocus actuator for iDevices which will provide faster response times, better photo stability and more. The inventor of this patent worked at Cambridge Mechatronics who specialized in auto focus actuators. Will this cause Apple any problems in the future or did Apple license part of the technology? Only time will tell. In addition, we cover Apple's newly awarded design patents and we wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Apple began to explore methods of adding camera lens accessories to iDevices in September 2010. The initial project was quite rudimentary and un-Apple-like to say the least, but then again, all projects need a basic starting point. Apple's R&D team apparently put this project on hold until they were able to come up with a more advanced magnetics based camera lens mechanism that they revealed this past January. Today in Apple's third patent application for camera accessories they explore alternative attachment methods and mechanisms. As noted above in our cover graphic, Apple's engineers present the new camera lens attachment on what appears to be an iPod touch. With Apple's iPod sales dropping every quarter, giving consumers the ability to add new zoom and wide angle camera lenses and filters to it could give this product segment a boost. Of course eventually, the system will spill over to all iDevices. It's a great idea. All we need now is for Apple to actually deliver it.
On February 27, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals yet another level of their fanatical attention to detail to ensure that iDevices rolling off the production line are particle and blemish free. Earlier today we posted another report covering Apple's intent to add self-healing material to iDevice and Mac display backlights to ensure that artifacts are self-eliminated. So while Apple advances their iDevices with features like Touch ID, we able to see through today's inventions that they also pay attention to the finer details that make premium Apple products. Today's report concludes with revisiting Apple's patent pending invention regarding a handheld standalone camera that Apple is still tweaking.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 31 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover a new camera related patent. In 2010 Apple introduced a clip-on accessory designed to provide iDevices with zooming capabilities. Today's granted patent goes far beyond that simple concept and introduces us to a vastly superior add-on camera lens system for iDevices that will use a magnetic mechanism. According to Apple, the movement of the lens assembly by the voice coil motor may provide various optical functions such as autofocus, lens zoom, anti-shake, or a combination of such functions.