Over the years of covering Apple's patent applications we've learnt that in many instances Apple has different teams working on a single problem from different angles in order to find the right solution prior to bringing it to market. Last March we posted a patent report titled "Apple Invents Unique Protective Mechanisms for Future Devices." Then last October we posted another report on this subject titled "Apple Advances their Device Free Fall Protection Invention." Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals how this project is progressing in interesting new areas. Today's invention introduces us to drop countermeasures that could be added to future versions of Apple's iPad Smart Cover and Smart Case to shield the iPad from damage to vital components or its display when accidentally dropped. Apple also discusses new drop countermeasures designed for the iPhone.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 44 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's granted patent for a possible future magnetics system going far beyond Apple's current use of magnets in their iPad Smart Cover. Apple's founding patent for expanding the use of magnetic systems covers a few new applications like dual iPad configurations, a tripod stand for an iPad and others. In the bigger picture Apple is considering the use of magnetic systems for a hybrid tablet-notebook and a full line of magnet based iPad accessories.
On August 28, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an improved method of producing a lightning connector that has a newly defined breaking strength. This new feature will be able to protect the receptacle lightning connector and/or the electronic device from damage when a force is applied to the lightning connector. One of Apple's patent figures specifically presents a new docking station utilizing this new feature.
Apple introduced a vision for a future version of their Magic Mouse back in 2010 that was the most descriptive patent filing on this subject matter. It described and illustrated how the next generation Magic Mouse would be able to sense a plurality of forces and applied velocities. It went into great detail about advanced gesture profiles for new "brush, scoop, tilt, and slide" capabilities. In 2013 Apple was granted their first patent on force sensing related to the Magic Mouse. Today, Apple has applied for a second patent on this future feature with refinements. In one example of using this future version of their Magic Mouse, Apple notes that "the amount of force may correspond to a height that a character in a video game is instructed to jump." Apple also envisions force sensing capabilities in a future Magic Mouse could apply to very sophisticated custom applications such as flight simulator and beyond.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 58 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover a patent that is titled "Combining power from multiple resonance magnetic receivers in resonance magnetic power system," which relate generally to utilizing a wireless power transmission in a portable computing environment. In 2012 Patently Apple was first to report on Apple's future magnetic resonance power system. In 2013 we covered the same system with far more detail and later posted a report titled "The Cordless Home is now in Reach with Magnetic Resonance," discussing the new power system in the larger context of how it was progressing within the industry. Today we see for the first time how peripherals like Apple's Magic Mouse and future wireless keyboard will integrate magnetic resonators that will be powered by the new power system hidden within a future iMac or Mac Pro tower.
There's a reason most cheap in-ear headphones sound the way they do – they only use one driver in each ear, which limits the audio range. To get more life, more spaciousness, and more oomph out of your favorite tracks, dual-driver earbuds are the answer and Apple has offered In-Ear headphones with dual-drives for some time. A dual-driver design is also especially good for listening to high-quality audio from lossless rips, to HD videos and other high-bitrate sources. In a new patent application published today by USPTO we see Apple describing possible changes to the internal audio design as well as talk about a three-way driver for the first time. According to Apple, their new invention relates to earphones or earbuds that have multiple speaker drivers and a cross-over network.
On July 3, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their continuing work on an iPod touch/iPhone case. Apple received a granted patent for this particular design back in March. It was originally filed with USPTO in January 2010. The thrust of the patent is about Apple's original iPad cover/case that was replaced with their Smart Cover and Smart Case. Now Apple is back at this invention and the question is why? Secondly, we discovered a patent application today covering testing processes of "small articles." The manufacturing process tests for glass breakage points and bending stresses in a brittle article.
On June 26, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals the development of an LED based keyboard. Although last month's report titled "Apple Rethinks the Keyboard with Gesture Controls & In-Key Displays to Support Pictograms, Symbols and Glyphs" was far more detailed than todays – it still goes to show us that Apple is continuing their work on this front. This particular invention also points to multitouch displays might be coming to future Macs.
On June 19, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that well before Apple acquired Beats Music, they were already working on over-the-ear headphones. Specifically, Apple's invention relates to a hybrid adaptive headphone having active noise control capability and passive noise control capability. Apple is on a roll of late regarding new over-the-ear headphones features. At the end of May we posted a patent report titled "Apple to Add Presence Sensors to EarPods & Future Beats Headsets."
On June 12, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their ongoing work to advance iPad Smart Cover features. In this current invention, Apple describes their Smart Cover being able to present live illuminated alerts and messages to users on the face and/or inside flaps of the Smart Cover using varying colored LED lights.
On May 29, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Earphones with Cable Orientation Sensors." The earphones incorporate multi-user sensor structures that determine whether or not the earphones are being shared by multiple users and will allow each EarPod to play different the same or different content simultaneously. I'm sure that dating and married love birds will love this.
On May 29, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their plans to add presence sensors to both future versions of their current EarPods and Beats Headphones. The timing of this patent coming to light is perfect in light of Apple's acquisition of Beats yesterday. Our cover graphic illustrates that Apple was thinking of applying their new technology to over-the-ear headphones. The presence sensors will be able to stop streaming media from Apple's iTunes Radio and/or Beats Music along with iTunes services such as watching TV programming or Movies the second that the user removes their earphones from their head and instantly resume play of the media whenever they're worn again.
On Thursday the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new high voltage wall charger for iPhones and other iDevices that will be able to surpass today's limiting 5 Volts and go up to 20 Volts as noted in our cover graphic. While we may not be getting a super battery that will provide us with one week's worth of power anytime soon, we can at least look forward to a new power charger for our iPhone (or other iDevice) that will charge it at much faster speeds so as to get us back online. While patent-pending ideas usually take time to get to market, we can only hope that Apple is thinking of delivering this new charger with the upcoming iPhone 6. Can that be done? Only time will tell.
On May 1, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their vision for possible future Mac Keyboards that support gesture controls and multi-colored in-key displays to support the presentation of symbols such as a Safari or app icons for Pages, Keynote and others in addition to supporting different languages and other kinds of keyboard layouts. Apple's concept of a multi-touch & gesture combination keyboard first surfaced in March in context with a new iPad cover keyboard.