On Oct 13, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a powerful group of seven Apple patents concerning the next round of FaceTime videoconferencing innovations. Some of these innovations include new PIP controls, new focus and exposure operations and a superimposing feature. The depths of these patents are mind numbing as they cover everything from the camera technology and software magic behind FaceTime through to actual user examples. With Microsoft likely to integrate Skype into Windows 8 in 2012 or thereafter, Apple knows that they have to advance FaceTime with important conferencing features for the consumer and the enterprise user in order to stay ahead of the pack.
Yesterday we mourned with the rest of the world as we learned of Steve Jobs passing on Wednesday evening. Today we move forward with a heavy heart - but remain focused on what we do best: Report on the insanely great inventions inspired by Steve Jobs and his team. During Apple's special event held earlier this week in Cupertino, Tim Cook spent a lot of time talking about how Apple still loved music and the iPod that started the mobile revolution. In a patent published by the USPTO on Thursday, we learned that Apple is working on a fresh new music sharing app that is uniquely designed for those who love the mobile clubbing scene. The app is described as tying in with the iOS notification system as well as with Twitter and Facebook social networking sites. And finally, our report covers the newly released iOS 5 split keyboard patent and more.
Today, Apple introduced their next generation iPhone called the iPhone 4S. While the iPhone 5 is scheduled to be released in 2012 with likely enhancements such as LTE and/or NFC, there were still a few interesting technologies added to the new iPhone 4S that were worth noting. Apple introduced video stabilization for those that like to shoot videos on-the-go, a face detection feature and contextual voice commands via Siri to name but a few. Today's report focuses on a few of the features that fulfilled and/or touched on Apple's published patents. Updated
On September 29, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two multi-touch related patent applications from Apple that revealed a very odd twist. Apple had just been granted two identical patents in June and it appears that they're already back to extend their multi-touch claims. In light of Wintel aiming their sites squarely on all things Apple a few weeks ago by revealing their intent to launch multi-touch tablets, Ultrabooks and desktops aggressively over the next 12-36 months – it appears that we may be in store for a new war front on all things multi-touch at some point in the future. Apple is either gearing up for these legal battles or is shoring up their claims so as to support new multi-touch devices in the future like their patent pending "iMac Touch." No matter how you slice it, Apple is digging further in on the multi-touch front regardless of a minor setback that they experienced earlier this week for the rights to the Multi-Touch trademark. Apple first introduced Multi-Touch with the debut of their 2007 iPhone, at a time when no one was implementing this on consumer devices. So if there's going to be a war on Multi-Touch patents, then it's safe to say that Apple is more than ready.
On September 22, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals how future iPhones and other Apple devices will be able to effortlessly communicate with everyday electronic devices like a downtown parking meter, a garage or home door, a grocery store cash register or a stereo component. Apple first established some of these future functionalities, such as using the iPhone as an electronic key or working with in-home devices back in early 2010 working with NFC. Then last week a new Apple patent application revealed how the iPhone could adopt RFID circuitry and reader to perform some of the very same noted tasks. In today's revelations, Apple states that they'll adopt a host of other wireless technology standards to enable the iPhone to communicate with all of tomorrow's smart devices. Apple is preparing future iPhones to work as an electronic wallet and in doing so must ensure that it'll work on any given wireless network that a retailer or city service implements. In the big picture, Apple now has all of their bases covered. The next step will be introducing iWallet capabilities into a future iPhone that will take e-commerce to the next level.
On the first day of September 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the possible next chapters for Apple's iPhone and iPad. While Apple's patent delves deeply into a new composite that will include a foam substrate formed of a plurality of foam cells, it's the intent behind this that's revealing. The new composite would accommodate a new antenna window for Apple's iPhone and iPad formed of RF transparent materials. As shown in our cover graphic, the new antenna window could take up as much as half the backside of an iPhone. The proposed antenna window would have a seamless backside line that would almost be invisible. The new antenna window design obviously departs from the iPhone 4's stainless steel antenna band which has been so controversial.
Last Thursday a number of very interesting patents surfaced at the US Patent and Trademark Office that Patently Apple amply covered. Yet a couple of minor yet interesting patent applications came to light that we thought shouldn't go unreported. The first one covers a new schematic mapping system for iOS devices, especially those with smaller displays such as the iPhone and iPod touch. The new schematic mapping technology will present maps that are very much like those that you'd see in a typical subway station. While the subway track itself may actually twist and turn from station to station, a typical subway map only represents the subway route as being in a straight line. Apple wants to simplify the mapping-out of routes for users by providing schematic routes to destinations. The second patent is an interesting one for business travels who would like their iPhone to carry a secondary mobile profile so that they could operate it in a foreign country without roaming charges.
A number of interesting Apple patent applications surfaced at the US Patent & Trademark Office yesterday. This report will cover three of them. The first covers Apple's ongoing research into solar energy for use with future portable devices. The second covers a new finger-oil resistant coating for iOS devices to keep our displays fingerprint free. The patent was only filed in February of this year which would suggest that this new coating may apply to devices set to be released in the coming months or years and not a technology already applied. The last patent is very interesting as well as it covers a new iPhone related antenna clip for use with an all-metal embodiment. The patent states that the patent figure is an exploded view of the device which could suggest that the antenna clip could one day be a part of an iPhone-nano-like device. Time will tell if this idea will ever fly, but it's definitely one to keep an eye out for going forward.
The US Patent & Trademark Office has published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for Apple's iPhone. According to Apple's documentation, a future iPhone could actually sport a display on each side of the device so as to advance the richness of reading an e-book or e-magazine. In April of this year Apple revealed a hybrid e-paper and LCD display for a future iPhone and today Apple explains how a user will be able to use such a display with a new flip action mapping system. The mapping system will provide a reader with options that will easily enable them to take notes about what they're reading or view a full dictionary definition or even find related reading materials depending on which direction that they flip their iPhone. This future iPhone will also be able to be turned into unique image viewer. While this is definitely a futuristic design, we're at least getting a peek into the intial phases of Apple's research in finding the ultimate reading application for future mobile devices.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 12 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The two patents that stood out from the pack this morning related to the original 2007 iPhone. In fact the patents were complementary to one another in that one covers portrait-landscape rotation heuristics and the other covers screen rotation gestures. I guess that's a double whammy for Apple and just more headaches for the likes of Google's Android.
In early June a patent application from Apple surfaced describing a very sophisticated infrared camera system. One of the key aspects of that patent was its potential use with portable devices like an iPhone in places like a museum. The patent discussed the interrelation between an infrared camera in a future iPhone working seamlessly with infrared emitters located throughout a museum, for example. In that scenario, the iPhone user would hold their iPhone up to shoot a video or photograph an artifact while the museum's infrared emitter would send additional information to your iPhone describing said artifact. Marrying the live photo or video with descriptions of the artifact would appear as a seamless image on your iPhone. It would be like having a private tour guide of the museum with you at all times. Today, another piece of that puzzle came together in a new patent application from Apple describing the use of dual transparent displays working in conjunction with dual backside device cameras to provide users with the ultimate augmented reality application.
When HP first introduced the TouchPad's "Touch to Share" feature earlier this year, fans and industry pundits alike applauded them for their innovation. Well, it appears that Apple has been working on something similar for about 18 months now. Of course in typical Apple fashion, the concepts envisioned appear to be far more creative as they implement gesturing with Physics Metaphors. In one example, as noted in our cover graphic, you'll be able to "pour out" files from one device to another in a manner that mimics that of pouring water. Apple lists a host of other examples that include sound effects. One such example includes an iPhone sucking up files from an iPad with the sound effect of a vacuum cleaner. While this newly proposed feature will certainly apply to all of Apple's hardware, it will also eventually apply to other devices such as televisions, whiteboards, projectors and more. Whether this ends up being a spin-off of Apple's forthcoming "AirDrop" feature or not remains to be seen. For now, it's Apple adding some badly needed personality to the boring process of file sharing.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 14 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our first granted patent report of the day we focus on three specific patents. The first relates to a sophisticated roaming point-of-sale system that Apple may use in their Apple Stores, the second is a patent relating to a Karaoke system that few have seen and the last relates to Apple's wireless keyboard design.
On June 23, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals various concepts behind a newly advanced directional audio interface. In one scenario, a specialized effect with a new kind of headset on would create an invisible spatial arc over the user's head that could control iPod menus through air gestures. Alternatives work with sensors in the iPod so that a user could map out movements to specific menu actions as our opening graphic illustrates. Apple's patent provides us with a mix of practical and very futuristic concepts on how we'll be able to control our iPod menus in the future through new audio interfaces. Concepts that will drive the competition mad once again.