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May 2009

Apple Patent May Point to LED iMac's Later this Year


On May 28, 2009, the US Patent & Trademark Office published an Apple patent that generally relates to display systems, and more particularly to a desktop display system with a distributed LED backlight. Apple's iPod, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Cinema Display currently use LED based displays which provide substantial improvements over LCDs in brightness, energy efficiency, color range, life expectancy, durability and robustness. Yet creating the 24" Cinema Display was no small task, as larger LED display configurations create area-to-perimeter ratio difficulties. Additionally, Apple had to work around conventional printed circuit board problems which had proven to have bad thermal properties for LED production. Apple's patent greatly details their integratinga plurality of tile LED light sources into a thermally and mechanically structurally integrated distributed LED tile matrix backlight light source. At the end of the patent, Apple states that their new distributed LED backlight system has provided for a straightforward, cost effective and uncomplicated process that is readily suited for efficiently and economically manufacturing large size display devices. That should translate into delivering an LED based display for at least Apple's higher end iMac – if not for their entire iMac line-up - for this coming holiday season in time to coincide with the debut of OS X Snow Leopard: Sweet.


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Apple Secretly Adding Voice Command Technology into Apple TV

APPLE TV ALTERNATE DESIGN 3Jerome R. Bellegarda is one of Apple's leading Spoken Language Group engineers. He's been involved in writing many of Apple's patents over the years relating to Speech Recognition and Text-to-Speech Synthesis. He's written a book on Latent Semantic Mapping and has spoken at the Human Language Technology Conference on comparative analysis of semantic inference, a presentation partly sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency. Suffice to say that Mr. Bellegarda is a leader in his field and adds incredible weight to today's patent application titled Context-aware unit selection. What's so exciting about another speech recognition related patent? Well, simply put, it's the first patent in a long stretch of such patents that finally provides us with a glance or glimmer of where Apple might be going with this technology in terms of a commercial application.

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Apple Wins Mighty Mouse & Secretive Display Patents

1 - cover - mighty mouse, secretive display-camera 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of seven newly Issued Patents for Apple Inc. today, including two design wins. The notables within this group include a patent and design win for Apple's multi-button Might Mouse along with another design winfor their now defunct iPod Hi-Fi. Yet the most important granted patent published today is, without a doubt, Apple's powerful and secretive patent relating to integrated sensing display technology. This never released technology will one day introduce natural eye-to-eye video conferencing and eliminate the need for separate integrate cameras in computers and mobile devices like the iPhone.  

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Apple iTunes Store Kiosk in Development


On May 7, 2009, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's patent application relating to media distribution and, more particularly, to controlling media distribution to personal media devices using a media distribution kiosk. Although the concept of an iTunes Store Kiosk had been rumored since 2006, the proof of such a development is now in hand. Apple's iTunes Store Kiosks will introduce us to something that Apple calls a virtual physical connector. By establishing a virtual physical connection as opposed to using the media device's actual connector, the wear on the media device's connector is minimized. The virtual physical connection also reduces the likelihood of eavesdropping, hacking, and overloading of a wireless connection between the media distribution kiosk and a media device. The virtual physical connection further eliminates the need for a media device to connect with a possibly damaged, worn, or unreliable connector of a publicly or environmentally exposed media distribution device. Apple's kiosk will utilize a limited RF range connection to ensure security. The kiosks will also allow users the ability to access one or more of their own existing libraries of media content at a different location. The new kiosks may also include a web browser using a touch screen display much like the new HP tourist kiosks. The kiosks will work with Apple handhelds such as the iPod touch, iPhone and notebooks and allow burning content such as music and/or movies to CD, DVD's or Blu-ray Disk. Apple also introduces us to a new security feature called a presence sensor. This will assist users make secure and private wireless purchases.   


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