There's great news for gamers this morning. A new patent application published by the US Patent & Trademark Office published this morning clearly illustrates that Apple has been working on backside controls for the iPad specifically for controlling video games. Of course being Apple, the sensor based controls are positioned beneath the surface of the iPad so as to not to appear as hard buttons of yesteryear. Although Apple has already been granted a patent regarding backside controls for the iPad, we find that today's revelations build on this foundation with specifics aimed at video games.
Specialty glass Company Corning, famous for its "gorilla glass" used in Apple devices, has an ultra-slim flexible glass called "willow glass" that has the potential to enable displays to be wrapped around a device. Corning said it's currently shipping samples of willow glass, which is compatible with OLED displays, to companies. Companies like Samsung and Microsoft already have patents on this type of concept and Nokia has a concept video that's very interesting. The race to overtake Apple's iPad is hot, as competitors team up with cutting edge University research labs to find that next great thing that could topple the iPad. Yet Tony Fadell, Apple's former Senior Vice President of the iPod Division, thinks that Apple has more technology coming to the iPad that will keep the iPad on top.
On May 17, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their intention of reinventing the speakerphone system for iOS devices. Although not detailed, the fact is that the new speaker positioning could provide iOS devices with general superior sound, even when docked.
Apple certainly has a fascination for avatar creation apps of late. In the last year or so they've invented several interesting avatar related apps including one for a very sophisticated Personal Shopping app for the desktop and another covering Advanced Avatar Editing for the iPhone. In today's latest patent application, Apple reveals a new application in the making that will primarily be used for avatar creation, though Apple does clarify that they may use the underlying technology in other professional applications. On one hand it's like Photo Booth on steroids and on the other hand it's definitely being aimed at the 3D video game market. In either case it'll be a blast to play with on an iPad. In fact, Apple notes that this app could eventually apply to next generation displays that include "movable," heads-up and three-dimensional (e.g., holographic) systems. Now that caught my attention.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of seventeen newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our first report of the day we covered a design win for Apple's Shanghai Store. In our second report of the day we focus entirely on Apple's first coded magnet patent win as it relates to their iPad Smart Cover. Apple officially introduced the iPad Smart Cover a year ago and the first patent about the iPad Smart Cover surfaced in December 2011. Kicking off 2012 we were able to view Apple's dramatic overview of their coded magnet technology which provided us with a peak of what could be in the pipeline for this promising technology. While Apple has received their first coded magnet patent today, it certainly won't be their last.
On March 15, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that delves into the world of Multi-Player gaming. Apple provides us with a number of gaming examples and meaty details of how they'll provide team members of a multi-player game with the ability to view common objects within a game from differing perspectives. If you're a hard-core multi-player gamer that wants to see what's coming to iOS gaming, then you'll enjoy this report. Additionally, our report details Apple's new "Find my Friend" App that was first introduced in October 2011. Some of the very same technology that's behind Apple's "Find my Friend" will be applied to Apple's next-gen multi-player gaming. With Apple's new iPad launching tomorrow with its Insanely Great Retina Display – gaming is about to go to the next level.
Acoustic musical instruments, such as drums and pianos for example, are typically velocity sensitive. This means that when a user hits a piano key softly, a quiet sound is produced, and when a user hits a piano key with more force, a loud sound is produced. This velocity-sensitive property allows musicians to create more expressive sounds and music. Today many touchscreen inputs aren't velocity sensitive. Apple's invention provides an exemplarymethod that includes receiving in the processor an acceleration value outputted by the accelerometer. The method includes associating the acceleration value with a function indicated by a touched location on the touch-sensitive display, such as a piano key. The function is the output of a musical note and modifying the function includes modifying an audible volume, pitch, or attack time of the musical note. The end result is Apple's GarageBand App for iPad.
Yesterday, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that revealed their intent to add a new teleprompter feature to both iMovie and Final Cut Pro. Sometime in the future you'll be able to both film yourself on an iPad while reading your very own script like the pros. This is Apple's second patent relating to future iReporter tools for iOS devices. Is it a trend? Well, last March, KBTV anchor-reporter Mike McNeill was the first person to shoot a news segment using the iPad 2 and Apple may want to tap into this new trend relating to Street Reporting. While this type of reporting won't be mainstream anytime soon, it surely has its place in impromptu situations or for informal video casts. This is Patently Apple reporting live for J-A-C-K news.
According to patent records, Apple has been dreaming and working on the smart bezel since 2005 – which actually predates the iPhone. In 2010, the smart bezel project began to gather some real steam and today the project takes an interesting twist. The difference this time around, is that touch zones aren't being limited to just the bezel. No, this time around, Apple is considering the use of touch zones on any surface that makes sense for a given application, be it the iBook or video games. It could equally be applied to an iPad or a television. Now that Apple has proven that touch zones actually work by releasing their Magic Trackpad into the market in 2010, Apple seems to now think that it's time to advance this technology to iOS devices. When you add this specific patent to the other great inventions published today covering coded magnet applications and a new 3D GUI option, it's clear that Apple has some definite plans of taking iOS devices to the next level in the coming years. Let's hope that the Crazy Ones push some of these great ideas to market sooner rather than later.
Apple first introduced us to the Wild World of Coded Magnets in late January. Today, greater revelations are found in a new patent application form Apple published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. While Apple further discusses their technology relating to magnetic fasteners, they specifically reveal real-world applications for the iPad and iPhone. Moreover, Apple envisions their programmable magnets eventually working through to the sporting world via smart bikes, ski boots and snowboards. The energy surrounding Apple's smart magnet project is high and it's evidenced in their latest patent. In fact, the energy found in all of their programmable magnet patents thus far screams the message that they believe this is a breakthrough technology.
Once in a while we're treated to a new Apple invention that virtually contains a new self-contained world of possibilities and vocabulary to enrich it. It comes out of the blue and feeds our need for meaty new technology brimming with potential. Today is such a day. This is such an invention. Apple's invention reveals a wild world of programmable magnetic devices, and more particularly, to security for computing devices and peripherals that may be provided by programmable magnets. And yet, it reveals so much more than that. Apple envisions this technology eventually working into iOS devices to produce wild haptic effects using Ferrofluids on touchscreens and virtual keyboards. It will also allow Apple's iOS to present light based points on the display as a way to guide a user through a process like a teacher. This is wild stuff folks and it only scratches the surface of what's to come. Grab a coffee, sit back and really enjoy one of the most fascinating patent applications to have surfaced in some time. Update 4 PM MST: Apple reveals inductive charging and/or other wireless charging using coded magnets coming to a new MacBook Dock in a secondary patent.
On the last patent application day of the year, the USPTO revealed a real treat for us. It appears that Apple has added yet another dynamic new chapter to their ongoing smart bezel project; a project that has the potential of taking Apple's iDevices to the next level. It could, without a doubt, revolutionize Apple's entire tablet-based line-up in the blink of an eye. The idea revealed in today's patent application is to advance iOS devices with a new live interface that is referred to as the Multi-Modal Human Interface. The new user interface is powered by a new engine that is able to detect environmental conditions and change the operational interactivity options for users so as to maximize the iDevice's usefulness - automatically. It's also designed to reduce power drainage so that devices could be up and running longer. One example provided for in Apple's documentation is an iPad shutting down the standard iOS UI automatically in favor of one that is driven by a voice and speech recognition UI while the user is driving. This is certainly another natural avenue for Apple's Siri. Yet, in the big picture, the smart bezel project is all about advancing the usability of future iOS devices on multiple levels. It's a project that demonstrates that Apple's leadership in all-things-tablets is based on driving the boundaries of true innovation to market and in the faces of their never ending competition. And on that note, I say Cheers to the Crazy Ones of Cupertino!
Sneaky Apple originally filed their Smart Cover product patent in Canada one year ago this month. It has only recently come to light for public viewing. The credit for the Smart Cover actually goes to Jony Ive's team of designers and engineers. While surprising, it only makes sense. The precision and coherence of the design could have only come from a detailed professional like Jony Ive. Although most of us know what the Smart Cover is, the patent actually surprised me with two new scenarios for using the Smart Cover. Neither had ever even crossed my mind. Those, along with a few other insightful twists, made the discovery of this Smart Cover patent in Canada all the sweeter.
On December 8, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published well over 40 patent applications from Apple in a single day. In our first report of the day, we focus on several patents that cover the advancement of audio quality in future iPhones. Specifically, the main patent covers an advanced noise suppression system that will be welcomed. Many times I've spoken to people calling me on their iPhone and sometimes I've been able to hear the person next to them speaking as clearly as I could hear them. That's not exactly the way it's supposed to work. Apple's newly proposed audio advancement system is likely to put that issue to rest while advancing iPhone audio quality overall. The last tidbit of information derived from this group of patents was rather a bit of a surprise. Apple revealed the use of a speakerphone feature on a future iPad - and that could be a new killer app in the making. While we could hope for this to roll out next year, we must always remember that technology revealed in a patent application could take more time to work through the system than we'd like. On the other hand, let's hope that Apple doesn't tease us with this for too long!