On Christmas day 2014 the U.S. Patent and Trademark office reveals one of PrimeSense's key technologies relating to a 3D sensing device that is operated using a unique in-air gesturing system and user interface. The technology found its way into Microsoft's Kinect. The system could one day find its way into Apple TV and future Macs.
Earlier today Dan Riccio, Apple's Senior VP of Hardware Engineering, introduced us to the new 27" iMac with a 5K Retina Display. A display that is absolutely stunning. It blows away any other all-in-one desktop on the market today. If you're in a profession that demands a high quality display be it for photography, film editing, graphic or fashion design, engineering, medical research and so forth, then the new iMac has no equal in its price range. It takes the desktop visual experience to a whole new level.Our report focuses in on Dan Riccio's presentation.
Late last month we posted a report titled "Microsoft considers a new Splittable Xbox Controller for Surface Tablet Game Play," and therein noted that the smartest approach to gaming controls on a tablet actually came by way of Apple's cool patent about backside touch controls for the iPad. Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple this patent. With Apple bringing their new gaming "Metal" technology to iOS 8 next month, we're bound to see console quality gaming for the first time coming to iDevices like the iPad. In fact we already know that the BioShock game is going to be one of the first debuting in September. If backside gaming controls were introduced later this year, Apple would certainly have iPads flying off the shelves for Christmas. In July we posted a report titled "Apple's CEO is sharply focused on the iPad with Hints of Significant Innovation on the Way." It's unknown at this time if Apple's backside controls will actually make it for 2014, but this is certainly considered a "significant innovation" for the iPad. I think this would send shockwaves through the industry if Apple pulled it off in the not-too-distant future. Yet as always, only time will tell.
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.
On July 24, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Liquid Activated Failsafe for Portable Computing Devices. Apple's invention generally relates to computing devices such as next generation MacBooks incorporating new failsafe mechanisms that are designed to prevent electrical shorts in the event that it comes in contact with any liquid.
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 February 27, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a number of interesting possible future features for Macs, televisions or even a car dashboard. With the addition of new sensors hidden in Macs, users will be able to control some device functionality with in-air hand gesturing. Apple's new invention could also provide users with superior lighting for FaceTime videoconferencing and more.
On February 06, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Touch-Sensitive Button with Two Levels." One aspect of the invention will allow a future MacBook to save power when the trackpad isn't in use. Apple notes that "scanning the touch sensor for touch events when the button is not depressed can be an inefficient use of power, especially in mobile devices running on battery power." Apple's workaround solution was to invent a two-level touch sensitive trackpad.
On October 17, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that their 2012 ultrathin iMac was manufactured by using a very sophisticated robotic force. The insane design precision didn't come about by accident. Apple's latest patent application describes a robotic solution created by Apple for the iMac and beyond. Apple's iMac webpage as noted above states that Apple re-imagined everything, re-engineered everything about the iMac and today's patent filing proves that out. This is Apple's second robotic invention. Apple's first design was for a robotic arm for manufacturing the iPhone that we covered back in January. Lastly, we present you with a secondary patent published today titled "Cosmetic Defect Reduction in Anodized Parts." It's Apple's new "finishing" bath designed to degrease, de-smut, anodize and chemically polish the iMac and other future iDevices until they reflect Apple's aesthetically insane finish so that they can give it their official stamp of approval: Designed by Apple in California.
In 2010 Apple revealed that they were experimenting with new features for a future iteration of their magic mouse that would include gesture profiles such as tilt, tap, nudge, scoop and slide. The invention also covered force sensors and more. Again in 2012 Apple tweaked their invention so that a future version of the Magic Mouse could process combinations of kinematical inputs such as force and velocity. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals yet further tweaks have been added to a future version of their Magic Mouse which includes inertial sensors. The hybrid sensor system could also apply to future MacBooks.
On July 11, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their invention that generally relates to alternative coatings for rare earth magnets and more specifically the plating of rare earth magnets with aluminum. The invention covers a magnet surface coating which can be adapted to match the overall look, shape, and feel of the device to which it is attached. The wild twist is that Apple is considering this magnetic coating for the back lid of a future MacBook application. Updated 4:30 AM MST
On May 30, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals Apple's gaze detection technology. It should be noted that Apple's current patent is a divisional patent which means that Apple is breaking this aspect of their 2008 parent patent out as an individual patent. Technically, Apple had this technology in a patent prior to any other competitor including Samsung which actually implemented it first in their Galaxy S4 smartphone earlier this year. Apple also added gaze technologies to a January patent in context to an HDTV related patent and the likes of Sony and BlackBerry are working on similar features. Today, when you put your iPhone to your face the display is turned off. This is one of the technologies found in Apple's gaze detection patent. In the future, gaze technology will be able to stop a video when you look away or stop your tunes from playing based on this gaze detection feature. At the end of the day, Apple's gaze detection technology is really more about conserving power than it is about providing a flashy gimmick.