Apple has been toying with a heads-up display or video glasses since 2006 and they've already been granted a patent for their invention. Then earlier this month Apple's video glasses project won a surprising second patent which we covered in our report titled "Apple's Special Project for a Video Telephonic Headset Wins a Second Patent." Today, the US Patent Office published a new patent application from Apple regarding a future heads-up display that focuses on delivering Retina Display like quality to a smaller display that's powered by a much smaller battery than an iPhone. While today's patent fills a need in Apple's video glasses project it has to be one of the driest reads of the year. For those interested in the finer details of this invention, check out Apple's latest patent application titled " Display Resolution Increase with Mechanical Actuation."
On May 31, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple revealing a new fault monitoring battery system. Apple states that the fault-monitoring mechanism will generate an alert and/or disable use of a portable electronic device containing the battery pack. For example, the fault-monitoring mechanism may indicate the fault through a visual alert (e.g., color-changing mechanism) or an audible alarm. Additionally, our report briefly touches on Apple's Audio Jack Assemblies patent and concludes with a simple question: Is Apple Changing Gears?
On May 03, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published 14 patent applications from Apple. We first reported on a wild new haptics system from Apple this morning and in our final patent report of the day we briefly cover most of the remaining applications. Our report covers a lot of ground including a new battery design, a new camera feature and tweaks to both the Mac Mini and high speed cable connectors. Could the tweaks to the high speed connectors have anything to do with the rumored round dock connector slated for the next iPhone? Only time will tell.
On April 26, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published three interesting patent applications from Apple. In the first one, Apple seeks to patent their Upper West Side (NYC) retail store structure that's located at 67th Street and Broadway. Just last week they filed a similar patent application for their Shanghai Apple Store. This trend of patenting "Flagship" store designs is likely to be a trend that will continue going forward. In a second patent application, we see that Apple has developed a new OLED driver which indicates that Apple is considering OLED for future MacBook and iOS device displays. The advantage to OLED is that display-backlighting isn't required. In the third patent application we see that Apple is legally beefing up their patent pending MacBook Air by including nine related patent applications under one roof. Is Apple making this move to protect their design if challenged or could it be used offensively in the future against copycat OEM designs hiding under Wintel's Ultrabook banner? Time will tell.
The timing of Apple's new micro SIM connector patent couldn't be more perfect in light of the battle between Nokia and Apple over the design of future miniature SIM cards for mobile devices. It's even been reported that Nokia has threatened to withdraw 50 or so SIM card related patents from ETSI if the Apple proposal is approved. Today's patent application sheds a little more light on the subject by illustrating that Apple's proposed SIM card connector could be utilized beyond smartphones and into devices such as Apple's MacBook Pro, iPod touch or even a monitor which could technically cover future televisions. The ability to transfer a SIM from one device to another is perhaps one of the advantages to Apple's design and why the ETSI is strongly considering it as a standard. In the era of mobility and device interconnectivity, Apple's solution may be the winner.
A new patent application from Apple this morning shows us that they're looking at delivering a little more buzz to future iOS devices. Then again, it could be a pulse, vibration and/or other sensation because what's being described here is advanced haptics. The buzz before the launch of the "new iPad" was that Apple was going to introduce haptics from Senseg that would give users the ability to actually feel textures on their new Resolutionary Retina Display. I was stunned at the quality of the Retina display and I would have flipped if they would have added this feature. But it wasn't meant to be, just yet. Apple first introduced the idea of bringing haptics to the iPhone a year ago and today's patent sheds a little more light on the subject. Advanced haptics will freak us out at the realism it could bring to science books, artwork, photography – and yes, games. Advanced Haptics could very well end up being a game changer for the senses, to be sure. With a little patience, we'll one day have our cake and eat it too.
Once in a while we're treated to a new Apple invention that virtually contains a new self-contained world of possibilities and vocabulary to enrich it. It comes out of the blue and feeds our need for meaty new technology brimming with potential. Today is such a day. This is such an invention. Apple's invention reveals a wild world of programmable magnetic devices, and more particularly, to security for computing devices and peripherals that may be provided by programmable magnets. And yet, it reveals so much more than that. Apple envisions this technology eventually working into iOS devices to produce wild haptic effects using Ferrofluids on touchscreens and virtual keyboards. It will also allow Apple's iOS to present light based points on the display as a way to guide a user through a process like a teacher. This is wild stuff folks and it only scratches the surface of what's to come. Grab a coffee, sit back and really enjoy one of the most fascinating patent applications to have surfaced in some time. Update 4 PM MST: Apple reveals inductive charging and/or other wireless charging using coded magnets coming to a new MacBook Dock in a secondary patent.
On December 1, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for Apple's hardware using non-visual controls. Apple's new invention also describes using Siri-like voice control assistance in future devices. This is likely the first of many new patents to follow covering this new trend of advancing to next generation interfaces that will one day be used in our home appliances, built-into our kitchen counter tops, used in our vehicle dashboards and far beyond.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 14 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our fourth granted patent report of the day we take a look at a patent that may one day provide 3D Motion to Apple's Mighty Mouse, to their Apple TV Remote, the iPhone and perhaps even a gamepad. The second granted patent that we review today touches on the iPhone's capability of interfacing with high tech gym equipment to monitor your vitals at a higher degree.
On September 8, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals more details on their portable point-of-sales (POS) system. Apple first filed a patent application for their POS system back in Q1 2010 which was later granted to them in July 2011. The news of such a system actually being piloted at a few of Gap Inc's Old Navy stores first leaked to 9to5 Mac in December 2010. In today's latest patent application Apple reveals that their POS scanning device is capable of scanning multiple barcodes in different sizes with different symbologies in a single swipe and then instantly transferring the data to an electronic sales form for processing. Although Apple is recognized as a global leading consumer centric company, it appears that Apple's push into a Point-of-Sale system could very well be the first of many specialized systems for both retail and enterprise markets in the years to come. Are you listening Wall Street?
Amongst some of yesterday's seemingly minor Apple granted patents was one that I almost overlooked. It seemed like a patent describing Apple's SIM card slot assembly and no more. Yet under closer investigation, it became clear that Apple has their eye on expanding the use of their ejectable component assembly. The patent points to other future applications such as memory cards or perhaps a tiny SD card. But the real eye opener here is that Apple is considering integrating things like microprocessor or integrated circuit cards. That translates into how the iWallet component will come to be in the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and other future miniature devices. You'll simply pop your mini-credit card chip into one of these protected ejectable assemblies just like you do today with a SIM card.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 17 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group include two iPhone related User Interface designs, another for their Mini DisplayPort and others relating to iTunes and their fantastic LED backlit displays. Yet one of the star patents that were granted to Apple today, is definitely one that involves a futuristic 3D stereoscopic display. Is Apple whetting our appetite for a possible future 3DTV system? Here's to hoping that Apple could actually one day deliver something beyond a little black box called Apple TV.
Apple finally introduced a camera system with their latest iPod touch and they're already preparing for their next wave of advanced camera technology releases. We've already seen a new Apple patent showing us that they're considering a zoom camera accessory for iOS devices and in their latest patent application published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office we see that Apple is considering a new advanced camera flash system. The system covers such matters as a flash redirector, new imaging sensors like one that focuses in on scene conditions and much more. While the new advances may be found in future iOS devices, the patent clearly states that this new flash system could eventually be integrated into the iMac, Apple's MacBook lineup and yes – even a dedicated video camera. I mean, why not take over the world of digital photography, right?