On Christmas day 2014 the U.S. Patent and Trademark office reveals one of PrimeSense's key technologies relating to a 3D sensing device that is operated using a unique in-air gesturing system and user interface. The technology found its way into Microsoft's Kinect. The system could one day find its way into Apple TV and future Macs.
On December 4, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a unique laser beam mapping invention. A future mapping application for an iDevice like an iPhone will use a laser sensor and laser beam to gather measurements of a room that includes shapes, distances, attributes of environmental objects and volume. While Apple's patent application provides us with an overview of the technical of the invention, they never really reveal the many applications that this invention could be applied to in the future. More than likely Apple will expand upon this invention in the future so as to provide us with more insight as to how consumers will be able to take advantage of this new laser beam system for iDevices that cover everything from an iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. While Apple is careful to not mention the word 3D, the nature of the measurements would suggest that the data collected in three axis mode would create a 3D model. It's definitely one of Apple's most interesting inventions of the year.
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.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 31 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we focus on what could be a revolutionary new Apple device that they refer to as a digital periodical. The unit can also act as an advertising display for a retail store application and beyond. Apple reveals that the new device would use an advanced form of MMS to deliver the content to this new kind of device.
Prior to Apple's great event that's scheduled for later this morning – the US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 47 newly granted patents for Apple today. In this particular report we specifically cover Apple's invention relating to a personal head mounted display system. The system could be used for watching movies to give users the experience that they were actually in a theater. The system could also be used for multiplayer video games that would put users right into the action like never before. Apple's invention was well ahead of the Oculus Rift and Samsung's latest Gear VR product on paper. Whether Apple has any intention of delivering such a device in the future that could work independently or with a future version of Apple TV is unknown at this time.
In late July we posted a report titled "Apple Invents a Reversible USB Connector." Shortly thereafter a rumor of Apple preparing to launch this connector in connection with the upcoming iPhone 6 surfaced and a second rumor came to light this past Monday. I don't know about the iPhone 6, but having a reversible USB connector coming to market for Macs is a possibility over the next year. Today, The US Patent and Trademark Office published a new Apple patent filing titled "Reversible USB Connector with Compliant Member to Spread Stress and Increase Contact Normal Force."
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.
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.
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 May 15, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their work on a next generation ambient light sensor system that will improve display clarity on iDevices when in bright environments.
Believe it or not, Apple was well ahead of the pack when they were first granted a patent for a video headset display back in 2009. Back then, there was no Google Glass or Sony video headset. Apple's original patent was filed in 2006 which was in and around the time that Apple was working on Project Purple which was the code name for the iPhone. Since that time Apple has been working on other aspects or features for a possible future headset, with one them being the addition of telephony. With Apple recently acquiring PrimeSense who has a patent regarding a headset on record, there appears to be new interest in advancing Apple's personal display system. With PrimeSense making Microsoft's Kinect system a reality and their technology being at the heart of new 3D camera phones like Google's Project Tango coming to market this year, the PrimeSense team may be able to breathe new life into Apple's video headset project. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that they're advancing one of their video headset patents by adding new and improved patent claims to strengthen and update their invention. As Tim Cook recently stated, "we care about every detail. And when you care about every detail and getting it right, it takes a bit longer to do that." Longer term projects such as this cool video headset would definitely fit Cook's philosophical view like a glove
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 a single granted patent that surprisingly relates to an iWatch-like device form factor.
On April 24, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals new environmental sensors may be considered for future iDevices relating to measuring temperature and humidity.
On April 03, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a simple yet sophisticated next generation SIM card tray ejection system. The system is activated on a future iOS touchscreen UI virtual button. The new system adds a new level of security for SIM cards which will be important as future iDevices may support bank related SIM cards for credit and/or debit.
Last May Apple first introduced a new patent application for an iPhone and iPod dock designed to support their new lightning port. Today, the U.S. Patent Office published one of Apple's patent applications that reveal their possible new dock may also come equipped with a new flexible lightning connector base that is more durable and easier to use. Here's to hoping that Apple will be able to not only design this new dock but also get it out to market soon. Not everything has to take forever. Apple introduced their lighting port with the iPhone 5 back in 2012 and they should have had a new dock available at that time. Then again, perhaps Apple is still waiting to see how the European consumer protection committee will rule before committing to this product. Only time will tell. Update March 14, 2014: Europe Parliament rules for common charger using micro-USB.