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.
Yesterday we presented you with two of Apple's most detailed patent applications covering Apple's extraordinary research into the notion of live and reconfigurable notebooks. Those patents detailed various scenarios pertaining to a "keyboard-less" notebook in addition to detailing a smart bezel, using hand-wave controls and much more. In today's patent report we cover Apple's third and final installment on this subject matter which pushes the envelope even further this time around by introducing us to acoustic commands. Acoustic commands use unique noise fingerprints of tapping combinations, scratches and/or swirling-motions to control device functionality.
When you think about the basic logic behind Apple's Magic TrackPad, you could reasonably envision touch controls going well beyond glass. This only makes sense as Apple gains experience with touch technologies on different substrates. In a second patent application published today, Apple discusses a new way of bringing touch to aluminum and other metals. There, new discoveries may very well lead to the development of truly next-generational forms of a MacBook or perhaps just added magic to their MacBook Air. Considering that Apple also discusses introducing air-wave controls on Apple hardware, it might be the place to kick-start this little wonder of an idea. The Concept also extends to the iPod where we might even see a spiral-styled control UI surface amongst a series of new specialized hardware interfaces. While I think that Apple's new reconfigurable hardware concept sounds a little like their one time chameleon project, the fact remains that Apple now has the technological experience behind them to advance some of these great and wilder ideas. I think that Apple's TrackPad was only an experiment for what lies ahead. And it all sounds like a lot of fun to me.
On February 17, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals the next chapters for both their iPad and MacBook portable devices. Apple first discussed future plans regarding a smart bezel for their iPad and iPod touch a year ago while hinting at new hovering capabilities just last week. The idea is to give Apple's iPad bezel easy yet invisible controls. In today's patent application, Apple really spells out how the smart bezel may not require a Home Button and added controls like volume will simply require a swipe of your finger. If that wasn't enough, Apple kicks everything up a notch by talking about a Live and Reconfigurable touch interface for future MacBooks. This has a lot of potential if Apple's haptic technology advances accordingly. It's the device every OEM on the planet is trying to master and it sure looks like Apple is getting a whole lot closer than most. Go Apple!
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 18 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this second group of patents includes one that likely relates to a Final Cut Pro feature dealing with an Audio View using 3-Dimensional Plot and another for video conferencing on an iPhone years before there was ever talk of such a device.Lastly, Apple has won a vital patent on the road to delivering a Telephonic MacBook to market.
A pair of new Apple patent applications have surfaced this month at the USPTO that clearly illustrate Apple's research efforts are mounting in the area of motion sensing and motion tracking. The first patent is all about controlling keyboard and gesture command sensitivities to accommodate public commuters while they work. The second is more dramatic and points to a new hybrid motion tracking desktop keyboard. The thing is that the latter is also being considered for use in Apple's MacBook line up. This would eliminate the use of trackpad and need for a touch display. There's no doubt that Apple is pushing hard to find a way to implement gestures on Apple's desktop and notebook products to support OS X Lion and beyond. At this point however, it's a little too early in the game to call the winner. Update 3:20 PM PST: New details have emerged about the motion tracking keyboard and are detailed herein.
While Apple is statistically the leading mobile devices company in the world today, the company has always been known for being a consumer friendly company in terms of selling easy to use hardware and software. In a patent application published yesterday by the USPTO, Apple is once again attempting to make the average consumer's life a little easier by inventing a new user friendly connector system. Some hardware systems have a plethora of ports and trying to mate the right connector to the right port isn't always easy for the non-geek. Apple's new system contemplates using various schemes to simplify that process by including magnetic connectors, haptic actuators that vibrate and other unique approaches to make setting up a new device, friendly. Sometimes simple is cool.