While Intel is obsessed with pushing their Ultrabooks into the market to attack Apple's MacBook Air, Apple is working on producing a thinner MacBook Pro for road warriors who need the convenience of an optical drive. Apple's latest invention describes how they propose to minimize the mechanics of an optical disk drive so as to produce a thinner MacBook Pro design in the future.
On September 29, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a next generation Hybrid Drive that includes both a hard drive and Flash. Intel will be pushing their Smart Response hybrid drive systems for consumer systems in 2012 and Apple's patent would indicate that they intend to have their own solution for future hardware. Uniquely Apple's twist to this drive is that it will handle different types of storage media based on an environmental state of the hybrid drive. If the drive undergoes temperature, vibration or acceleration variances that could cause the hard drive to temporarily fail, the system would save the volatile data to the Flash drive.
On August 25, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a wild new concept relating to privacy glasses. While the new specs will be applauded by both professionals and multi-player-gamers alike – gamers may get the added thrill of tapping into the specs' 3D capabilities. While we covered Apple's initial patent regarding privacy-mode viewing in May of this year, it appears as though this project has taken on dramatic new twists. As computer users shift more towards using mobile devices like iPads and MacBooks as their primary devices, and use them more and more in public spaces, privacy-viewing is going to be an essential feature for all future mobile devices. Apple is out to be first and more importantly, the best in delivering this essential new feature and/or accessory.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 20 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Our first granted report of the day only covers a single major patent victory of Apple's which covers how they intend to integrating cellular antennas under the keys of both MacBooks and wireless keyboards like that used for the iMac. That revelation of cellular capabilities coming to an iMac is an eye-opener by itself. This is Apple's fourth cellular based MacBook related patent in just the last year and the second which covers hiding the cellular antenna. While we don't know which combination of technologies Apple will use to bring cellular capabilities to both the MacBook and iMac at this time, the important point is that Apple is determined to bring such capabilities to market in the not-too-distant future.
When I think of quality 3D content, one of the first companies that comes to mind is Pixar whose wondrous works have dazzled millions worldwide and made us laugh. It was Steve Jobs who acquired a low key 3D software tool developer company and turned it into a 3D animation powerhouse that finally drove Disney to acquire them in 2006. So do I have faith in Apple being able to reinvent 3D for computer displays and televisions in the future? Duh …Yes, of course – and the good news on this front is that a recent patent application reveals one of the many ways that Apple is preparing to deliver this next generation entertainment beast. Although Apple's patent application goes out of its way to never use the words TV or television, they do describe the shortcomings of wearing 3D polarized glasses in context with a display. If that's not describing a future 3D TV application - then I don't know what is. Then again, it's not only about entertainment anyways. It's also about a future 3D version of OS X or perhaps even iOS. And if you follow Apple's patent history, then you know that such advancements in delivering truer 3D imagery will eventually spill over to other professional fields such as medical, aerospace, gaming and far beyond.
Late last week the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that revealed yet another take on a possible future virtual keyboard for the iMac and other devices. Apple's first major patent concerning larger virtual keyboards surfaced in 2009. Then in 2011a wave of major virtual keyboard patents surfaced that illustrated the depth of Apple's research in this area. In early January Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple gets closer to a Virtual Keyboard for the iMac," and later that month we posted a second report titled "Apple Pushes Research into Motion Keyboards for MacBooks." In May, Apple disclosed the invention of an "Advanced Air Feedback System" and last week Apple revealed their fifth major effort into keyless keyboards by disclosing their new piezo-based acoustic and capacitive detection system which includes a very cool glass based keyboard concept that may be a winner.
On May 26, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals various concepts behind a newly devised pressure-relief battery pouch for portable devices using rechargeable lithium-polymer battery cells. Gas buildup found in most chargeable battery designs could potentially cause the battery cell to swell or explode and even cause a fire. Apple's invention introduces a new series of designs to remedy this potential fire hazard.
This appears to be the year of the keyboard. Apple began the year working on several keyboard projects including one involving a leap to a next generation virtual keyboard system for desktops while working on a secondary parallel bridging keyboard project that involved implementing a hybrid keyboard using advanced motion tracking. In Apple's latest keyboard project, which was published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office, we see a more practical approach to advancing keyboards in the shorter scheme of things by using advanced sensors and a unique air-based feedback system primarily for Mac keyboards. In the longer scheme of things, Apple is actually eyeing the concept of using deformable keyboard systems.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 10 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our second report of the day we cover a great number of Apple's granted patents including one for Final Cut Pro, a design patent for the App Store's icon imagery, another for an Apple Store related system and a few other minor patents along the way. Yet the surprise of the day certainly goes to a quality testing system designed for high-end LCD displays designed for such systems as a television or an iMac. Apple's display's have been a definite cut above their competitors for some time now and learning about this secret testing equipment easily explains one of the reasons for their ongoing success. Attention to quality detailing is Apple's Hallmark.
Two of Apple's latest patents that were published this morning by the USPTO detail new fire resistant cabling for MagSafe and a spin-off feature related to the iPhone's "Maps + Compass" feature. This new feature may be engineered right into next generation iOS device cameras allowing users to superimpose compass bearings right onto their photos. Unless you're a spy or surveyor, however, I'm not quite sure why you'd want this feature. If you happen to have an idea or two as to why we'd want this feature, then by all means send in your ideas below in our comment area.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of eight newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our second granted patent report of the day we have a real surprise. Apple has just won a patent for an all-new Hybrid DisplayPort/USB 3.0 high speed connector. This new and extremely slim connector will work on all iOS devices like the iPod and eventually work its way through Apple's entire hardware lineup. Apple has just introduced another high-speed connector called Thunderbolt and we know that they're also working on a new fiber optic based connector for the future. Yet this latest hybrid connector looks like a winner and one that we might see come to market later this year in handhelds or in 2012 when Intel Macs debut with USB 3.0. But let's be honest here: Wouldn't we all like to see this debut on the iPhone 5? Hmm, I think that I'm hearing a thunderous yes on that question.
Yesterday, the US Patent Office published close to 35 patents for Apple and overnight we've dug up a few more interesting ones that we just couldn't get posted in good time. In today's patent report we're going to show you how Apple is advancing on two interesting market fronts. The first involves reinventing the Mini Jack for future wearable and miniature portable devices while the second involves pico-like projectors for portables like the iPhone and MacBook. The patent even hints of home theater and television systems. Curiously Apple is building an interesting portfolio of projector patents that seem to be inching their way to market ever so slowly.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 22 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The most interesting patent came to us as a complete surprise this morning as it wasn't originally covered. More than likely, the patent was filed in a way so as to escape the regular channels. The good news is that this patent advances Apple's new antenna system from previous applications. We were first introduced to Apple's intentions for a Telephonic MacBook back in August 2010. This was followed up with two related granted patents for a cellular antenna for a MacBook that were published respectively in September 2010 and February 2011. Apple continues to advance the concept of a Telephonic MacBook which will hopefully see the light of day sometime in the future – hopefully sooner rather than later.
Apple seems to be onto something new of late. They've been exploring the implementation of the smart port into future hardware. It will eliminate the current printed port icons that are on hardware today, such as for Firewire or Thunderbolt in favor of introducing "invisible-like" icons that are created by using micro-perforation techniques. The reason for doing this serves two purposes. The first is to once again refine Apple's hardware aesthetics and the second is to add the ability to introduce active or morphing port icons. These new morphing icons would be able to communicate both the location of a port and/or any danger associated with it.
Apple has been working on utilizing light-transmissive controls for some time now and has actually begun incorporating them into the MacBook Pro. Last week a series of elaborate patents surfaced which provided us with a real in-depth look at some of the advances Apple is making on this front. The most startling design included a keyboard totally comprised of light-transmissive keys; a design that would also be able to reconfigure itself into other user controls such as a key or gaming pad. In today's patent, Apple looks at simpler controls that could be incorporated into the lid of a future MacBook or MacBook Pro to control music.