One of the projects that I've always believed to have been on Apple's roadmap was that of a Smart-HDTV – even when Apple kept insisting publicly that it was just a "hobby." Year after year Apple's patents were indicating that the HDTV project was still alive and well. In fact there was enough evidence to call it an official trend worth following. So we opened a special Apple TV archive on our site to keep tabs on this project's progress. Today, the news broke that Steve Jobs had been working on this project until the very end and that Apple may have finally cracked the Smart TV mystery.
On October 20, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their work on optical transmitting cables, connectors and adapters. I first thought that the patent was simply describing Thunderbolt until I saw the illustrations as you could see above. They have nothing to do with Thunderbolt. These kinds of cables are usually used with HDTV's and other home electronics. While optical cables are interesting and I'm sure that they'll likely work with a future iteration of Apple TV – I wonder what else Apple may have in mind. Interestingly, the patent graphics make it appear as if the product is in its final stages of design. If you have any specific ideas as to where Apple could use such cables, beyond what is presented in the patent application, make sure to send in your comments.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 13 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today and one was a real stunner. Today's report focuses on this advanced 3D display and imaging system that packs one hell of a wallop. Apple's patent covers a wild 3D system that could generate an invisible space in front of the user that could allow them to work with holographic images or project their hands onto a screen in front of them to manipulate switches or move pieces of virtual paper or parts of a presentation. One could only image how this could be applied to 3D gaming, business or medical applications in the future. This is Apple's second major revelation about such an advanced 3D system and many supporting patent applications would suggest that the system is progressing quite well in Apple's research labs. The good news, is that future iOS devices will be one of the drivers behind this new beast. This is definitely one of Apple's coolest ideas to date.
Last week the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for Apple's iBooks. For children's books, Apple has devised a number of new gesture options to make reading more fun and interactive. One such gesture will allow a child to tap on a word and have an associated picture, animation or video pop-up to make that word come to life. For those learning a foreign language, Apple has devised a gesture to have a word present itself in the student's native language so as to quicken the learning process. Apple's ideas also seem to cross over to electronic magazines where tapping on certain words could pop up a related widget. For example, when reading a financial magazine article on Apple (AAPL), tapping on its NASDAQ symbol would automatically open a financial widget showing Apple's current stock price. Yet where Apple's patent application really shines is in its description of a new chip that future iOS devices could end up adopting. Our report reveals the nature of this little wonder that could definitely add a little zing to future iOS devices.
On June 23, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for AppleTV. The proposed system is described by Apple as being an enhanced TV widget paradigm. While Google has gotten an early start in this arena of TV meets the Internet, the system is basically working with static widgets. Apple's paradigm involves taking widgets to the next level of live widgets that will interact with TV shows like NBC's "The Voice" so that users could directly vote for their favorite candidates from their HDTV effortlessly. The system will also work with live sports like football with other live content is in the works. The system still involves Apple's AppleTV set-top-box but with a twist. It will finally hook up with regular Cable TV networks! Now that could be hot!
Today the US Patent and Trademark Office published Apple's patent which relates to FaceTime's picture-in-picture effect that is implemented on mobile devices like the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad. The patent mainly focuses on how to achieve this feature while conserving electrical power. Yet the patent hints that the scope of the patent doesn't limit this PIP feature to just videoconferencing.
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.
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.
Earlier this month, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that revealed one of the possible next chapters for AppleTV. Although Apple continually insists that AppleTV is nothing more than a hobby of theirs, their R&D via patents is showing us another story. It appears that Apple is continually advancing future possibilities for AppleTV on a regular basis. In today's patent report we take a look at Apple's latest vision for AppleTV that will put more relevant data at your fingertips. Let's say that you like a tune that you're hearing on the latest episode of House or Fringe. You'll be able to put the scene on pause and have a new navigational bar appear that will give you the option of finding the data on that tune in one click. Apple's latest AppleTV patent lists eight new possible data options that could make watching TV more fun in the future.
When Apple introduced the iPhone in January 2007, it turned the mobile phone industry on its head. It changed everything we knew about smartphones and threw out the manual. That's what secret out-of-the-blue technology could do when applied just right. With the iPhone's success, the Crazy Ones of Cupertino went into high gear. They were scribbling ideas on bar napkins as their teams feverishly pushed the idea of what Multi-Touch was and more importantly, could be. Today you'll learn about their new Three Dimensional Multi-Touch skin technology; an idea that could explode into a plethora of future product concepts.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 16 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today and in our third report of the day, we focus on perhaps the most intriguing granted patent of the day. It's a patent that could already be DOA – or it could be a glimpse of various forms of Apple TV that Apple could be advancing ever so quietly behind the scenes. Most of us don't think that Apple is finished with Apple TV just yet – and today's patent just adds fuel to that fire.
Three new interesting Apple patent applications were published today at the US Patent & Trademark Office that cover differing research projects that Apple is exploring regarding radio services. Today, only the iPod nano offers smart radio services. The new patents clearly present us with fresh thinking on this subject and it's apparent that Radio Data Systems in the future will also be able to smart tag television channels too. Perhaps more interesting is that Apple is working on ways that will allow an iOS device user in the future to interact with a radio or TV station advertisement that is promoting a game or offering a prize to their listeners. Independent of these first two patents is a great third patent which covers the future ability of pushing the iOS interface to a modern in-vehicle stereo system's user interface. That's likely a feature that we'd all like to see sooner rather than later.
On October 21, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's patent application titled "Systems and Methods for Operating a Disk Drive." Apple's patent generally relates to electronic devices and, more specifically, to systems and methods for storing electronic data to a file storage device – that in-part – utilizes flash memory for frequently updated information on a device such a DVR. Apple's entire patent is about the technical aspects of a combo "hard disk + solid state drive" and yet scantily references a DVR to provide us with a focal point so as to help us recognize an example of where such a drive would be commercially applied. Add this to Apple's "Hobby" project called Apple TV.
Apple TV is just a hobby. Apple TV is just a hobby. Apple TV is just a hobby. Okay, I get it – but these nasty little patents keep popping up that show that Apple has an obsession with display technology which happens to include, well … television. Apple's patent thinks that LCD TVs should run in two modes so that still photos could be better presented. The patent describes the two modes as being CPU mode and Streaming Mode. The patent mentions display technologies like plasma which of course has nothing to do with an iOS display. Yet for now we'll simply archive this patent in our not-TV-file while chuckling, because we all know that Apple TV is just a hobby.