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.
On May 01, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new docking station concept that is designed to incorporate a more durable and self-retracting connector that can accommodate iDevices small and large.
In late March Patently Apple posted a report entitled "Facebook to buy Oculus for $2 Billion," where noted that Apple's acquisition of PrimeSense could advance Apple's previous work on a video headset. Today the US Patent and Trademark Office reveals that Apple has revisited their patent application regarding their video headset that could be a future Apple TV accessory or an Apple TV iDevice for those on the go; A nice spin-off product if you will. Coincidentally news surfaced late yesterday from KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo is claiming that Apple will revamp their Apple TV device later this fall. It would be very cool timing if the Apple TV accessory would be ready at that time to create some major buzz in the industry. However, it's unclear if Apple is really committed to such an iDevice or accessory. It would be great for gaming and a way to get ahead of Oculus. But for now it's just an open question mark. In this report we also note that Apple has filed a continuation patent regarding their Shanghai Apple Store Building.
On April 3, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "System and Method of Detecting a User's Voice Activity using an Accelerometer." It appears that Apple is working to advance their EarPod with Remote and Mic headset so as to provide superior voice quality for phone calls in the future. Technically speaking, the new system will have a voice activity detector (VAD) system that uses signals from an accelerometer included in the earbuds of a headset with a microphone array to detect the user's speech and to steer at least one or more beamformers.
On March 27, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an all-new iPad smart cover configuration that includes a keyboard panel. One of the aspects of this design which differentiates itself from Microsoft's Surface tablet cover is that Apple's keyboard has been uniquely designed to double as a multi-touch gesture keyboard eliminating the need for a touchpad.
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.
On August 29, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new EarPod carrying case accessory. I don't know about you, but untangling my EarPod cable is always a dance I hate. Now Apple's lead accessory product designer Kurt Stiehl has come up with a solution for that.
On August 22, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of 20 original patent applications from Apple today excluding 12 continuation patents. In this report we cover four mildly interesting inventions. The first details Apple's lightning connector exhaustively. The second covers automating Apple's iPhone status sharing feature so users won't have to set it up in the future. A third patent covers a new injection molding system for creating parts for Apple iDevices faster and cost effectively. And lastly we link you to a new patent application covering technology relating to the next iPhone cellular standard that's in the works called LTE-Advanced.
In 2012 Apple's VP of software and iOS Scott Forstall announced that nine car companies had signed on to eyes-free Siri services with Hyundai signing on as the tenth in January. Then came Eddy Cue's announcement at this year's World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) that "iOS in the Car" was going to be available in cars in calendar 2014, which translates to new 2015 models debuting in late Q3 and early Q4 2014. Apple appears to have the lead in one of the next battlefronts in the market: eyes-free digital services for the car. Patently Apple has discovered that Microsoft is also "eyeing" this market. A new patent filing published this week by the US Patent and Trademark Office revealed one of their projects for eyes-free services for the car, and our report will give you a peek at what they've got on the drawing board. Yet at the end of the day, Apple has made a firm announcement as to when iOS in the Car will be ready whereas Microsoft is still in the dream state with nothing concrete in sight.
On June 13, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an all-new kind of tablet cover. The patent filing is deadly focused on the make-up and process in creating the cover using various materials with non-radio portions so as not to interfere with the tablet's various radios. Considering that Apple's original Smart Cover was introduced in early 2011 and that this new filing was only filed in December 2012, it's pretty clear that Ive's Industrial Design Team have something completely new in mind. Could it be a new iBooks centric design? Only time will tell.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 37 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover one of Apple's gaming accessory inventions that cover a gamepad and joystick. Virtual gaming controllers just don't have that tactile touch that is needed to assist gamers so that they could keep their eyes focued on the game rather than on where the controls are. Even the new PS4 and Xbox controllers debuting this year have stuck with physical buttons and joysticks because that's what players need at the moment until haptics could get to a point where physical buttons could be eliminated. Apple's patent covers attachable game controller accessories that could simply stick to the touchscreen surface of a roomy iPad display to give the gamer more control over their games. It also assists developers to have a common gamepad/joystick structure so that more games could follow a specific guideline for controller activity.UPDATED JUNE 14, 2013