The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 56 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's possible Livescribe competing smart pen and the next generation of MagSafe with a fiber optic line incorporated. One of the questions that arise from the smart pen patent is whether Sir Jony Ive secretly works for UK's MI6.
Late yesterday Patently Apple discovered a unique patent application from Apple that was published in Europe. The patent contains a feast of cool new ideas floating around Cupertino's R&D labs. Apple's many inventions are illustrated on both MacBooks and a possible future iPen. Apple discusses varying flex display designs and a new illumination process that is very cool. Some of the features described in this latest patent filing could easily be applied to future wearable devices from Apple. All-in-all Apple's European patent application was a lot of fun to explore and I think that you'll really enjoy our report covering its many highlights.
While the late Steve Jobs wasn't a big fan of the "dumb stylus" of yesteryear, that was basically a tiny plastic pencil, he knew that one day the technology would give rise to an advanced iPen. Apple has invested heavily in the modern iPen with over 24 patents to their credit thus far. Today we get to take a look at Apple's fourth and fifth stylus related patents for the first quarter of 2014 alone. In Apple's latest inventions, they describe a sophisticated stylus with an internal mechanism using electrically charged discs that could elongate the tip of the stylus. In standard mode it's a pen. In the extended mode it's a brush with brush-like fibers. Apple's invention will really be appreciated by artists as they've created a very unique feature just for them in respect to color matching. The different modes of operation are designed to provide a more realistic writing and painting experience. In recent weeks, Microsoft has filed for a similar invention using magnets to control the writing and painting experience. This is where the trend is headed. With Apple having invested thousands of man hours on a next generation stylus or digital pen, let's hope that one day soon Apple's CEO Tim Cook will finally give this project the green light to deliver a high-end iDevice accessory for artists and business people alike.
Wow, what a week it's been for Apple's future iPen. It began on Tuesday with a surprise granted patent focused on iPen orientation detection followed by three detailed patent applications covering a multitude of features on Thursday. And while we were busy writing those reports we happen to stumble upon two more iPen patent applications that Apple filed in Europe that same day. The main patent filing is a spectacular overview of a modular iPen design that would allow users to choose different modules for different tasks. One feature, for example, would allow a student or business user giving a presentation to use this iPen as an advanced laser pointer. Apple's latest European filing is without a doubt one of the most sophisticated of them all to date. It's intelligently designed so that Apple will be able to introduce new accessory "expansion modules" over time so as to keep the iPen up to date with the latest and greatest features. In fact, Apple's patent application provides us with a number of possible iPen expansion module examples that they already have in mind.
On Tuesday we were surprised to see that Apple was granted a new iPen patent pertaining to orientation detection. While the late Steve Jobs wasn't a big fan of the "dumb stylus" of yesteryear that was basically a tiny plastic pencil, he knew that one day the technology would give rise to an advanced iPen. Apple has invested heavily in the modern iPen with over 20 patents to their credit thus far. Today, three new iPen related patent applications were published by the US Patent and Trademark Office that cover many new aspects of this invention including a unique eraser function.
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 one patent related to stylus orientation detection. While the late Steve Jobs wasn't a big fan of the "dumb stylus" of yesteryear that was basically a tiny plastic pencil, he knew that one day the technology would give rise to an advanced iPen. Apple has invested heavily in the modern iPen with over 20 patents to their credit thus far.
On September 12, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that legendary John Elias that was behind many of Apple's original multitouch patents that made the iPhone a reality is now back at refining the patent claims of a smart pen design that he first introduced in 2011.
On August 29, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new and elaborate collaboration system for videoconferencing that could be useful for the enterprise or for future distant leaning applications. The system introduces new interactive pie menus that will work with a sophisticated pen that will include memory and other advanced functions. Apple notes that as the pen advances toward the menu presented on a large presentation screen, an opening will automatically be created in the menu so that no content is covered by the presenter's hand or arm. Additionally, Apple notes that the new menu system will work with custom applications designed for this system yet also work with traditional software such as Photoshop, PowerPoint, and other common applications. Apple must think this is an important invention considering that this is a follow-up application to their already granted patent issued back in March.
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.
Our last patent report for 2012 goes to a new patent application that was published by the US Patent office last week regarding an advanced "Active Stylus." Over the years, Apple has stated that they weren't interested in a 7" iPad and now it's going to be one of Apple's hottest selling products in 2013. Apple denied they had interest in a cellphone of their own and storing data in the sky, now the cloud, was quite humorous to Steve Jobs. Yes, Apple has said they weren't interested in certain products just to turn around and actually deliver them as the next great thing. The old boring dumb stick called the stylus is another one that Steve Jobs supposedly didn't like and at the time it made sense. Yet it's just a known fact that Apple's engineers have been working on "reinventing" the stylus for years now, contrary to their public stance. Even the idea that it was too easy to lose a stylus has been overcome with the advent of Apple's work with encoded magnets that's behind the iPad's Smart Cover product. Today, the stylus is more like a crayon than a pen. Samsung's Galaxy Note product with a stylus is a case in point. It just sucks as a pen. Apple's latest invention introduces the "active stylus" to overcome common stylus problems and names the iPhone and iPad by name as products that may be able to take advantage of the active stylus in the future.
On May 24, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two major patent applications from Apple relating to a future iPen. In our first report published this morning titled "Apple Sheds More Light on their iPen & Graphics Program," we covered Apple's push into specialized haptics for a future iPen. In our second report, we focus on Apple's consideration of using an optical based iPen. The unique angle taken by Apple's optical pen is a fascinating approach to determine a pen's location on a tablet surface. One of the secrets utilized in this approach uses invisible indicia.
On May 24, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that sheds more light on their future iPen and related graphics program. Apple continues to spend time and R&D funding on a future iPen device that's being designed to work with all of Apple's tablet-styled iDevices. The focus found in today's invention is twofold. Firstly, Apple is thinking of adding advanced haptics to the iPen so that the end user will be able to feel brush strokes and/or line thicknesses for example. Secondly, Apple is designing the iPen with a built-in mini speaker so as to provide users with various forms of audio feedback. To make all of this interesting and relevant, Apple sheds a little light on how their iPen will work with either a new graphics/paint program of their own and/or with known apps such as Autodesk and Microsoft's Paint.
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 magnetscoming to a new MacBook Dock in a secondary patent.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 18 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. One of the most important patents within this group is for a super smart-pen. In fact, it's so smart that it's described as being a portable computer. The smart-pen, which is noted as using an ARM processor, is also likely to incorporate recording capabilities and act as a pager, as the pen incorporates a tiny LCD. The patent notes that the device's rechargeable battery may also incorporate pyroelectricity and a custom-built solar cell. It should be noted that Apple has likely acquired this patent from a Great Britain inventor who originally filed the patent in 1998 or nine years prior to Livescribe coming to market. This is important – as a recent Apple patent application which reflects Livescribe-like capabilities is actually building on the foundation of this newly granted patent and advances the smart pen to include voice, face and object recognition modules and more. This is Apple's thirteenth smart-pen related patent since 2009. The trend illustrates that Apple is attempting to develop a family of smart pens for future iOS devices that would appeal to both the artist and enterprise user. The depth of innovation illustrated in Apple's string of smart-pen patents goes far beyond purely defensive measures.
According to our Smart Pen Archives, Apple has now filed more than a dozen smart pen patent applications over the last few years with each one getting more innovative and detailed. One of the most advanced patent applications on smart pens to date was published this past April and one of two patent applications on this subject published today illustrates that Apple is really trying to find a smart pen solution that could also work with ordinary paper. Students and professional doodlers alike could work on ordinary paper and/or notebooks and then simply transfer their data to the device of their choosing when they're done. Other equally innovative ideas that surfaced today include a unique heating element that provides the iPen's tip with smooth action on the display in any temperature and even an integrated iPen dock to charge the Pen's battery. With Apple working on so many advanced iPen options of late, it's evident that the Crazy Ones in Cupertino think that they're closing in on the perfect smart pen.