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January 2011

Apple Delves into Three Dimensional Multi-Touch Skins

1b - Cover - New Invention. Crayons Not Included - Jan 2011. Apple Patent report 
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.   

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MicroUnity Systems Engineering Dragging Apple Back to Court

1 - cover - microunity systems engineering vs apple - jan 2011 patent infringement case 
MicroUnity Systems Engineering, Inc. of Santa Clara, California has launched another patent infringement law suit against Apple and nineteen others in the telecom and handset sectors including AT&T, Nokia, Samsung, Verizon, Texas Instruments, HTC Corporation, Palm, Google and Qualcomm. We covered their initial lawsuit against Apple back in March 2010. In this new case, the entire focus is on a single patent which is challenging Apple's A4 processor and all its related products.    

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Apple Files for "Ping" Trademark Protection in Europe & China

1 - Cover - Ping trademark filing , Apple, Jan 2011 
It's been an interesting month for Ping, Apple's new social network for music service. Last week we discovered through a patent filing that Apple has been working on a new high octane iTunes App that tightly ties into Ping and overnight we discovered that Apple has filed for trademark protection for Ping in both China and Europe. Apple has filed for protection under six International Classes covering everything under the sun including online social networking services, digital music, telecommunications, education, entertainment services, promotional items and more.  

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Introducing: The Apple Patent Song

1 f - Cover - The Apple Patent Song - Jonathan Mann 
In July 2010, Jonathan Mann found himself center stage with Steve Jobs who played his song called The iPhone Antenna Song. Jonathan and his band will be performing at Macworld 2011 this Saturday in San Francisco. Jonathan's latest tune is called "The Apple Patent Song." He emailed me this afternoon with a link to his new video for the song and I thought it would be fun to post it and wish Jonathan the best for this weekend. Check out the YouTube video after the break and have some fun.  

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Apple Pushes Research into Motion Keyboards for MacBooks +

1 - cover - apple patent jan 2011 - Apple pushes research into motion keyboards for Macbooks + 
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.    

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Future iPad Could Provide New Connector & Grounding Options

1 - Cover - future iPad & Dock could have more connecting and grounding options - apple, Jan 2011 
A new Apple patent focuses on grounding future iPads in superior ways so that touch values don't get distorted when the iPad isn't being held by the user. For example, a user could be resting their iPad down on a wooden coffee table or a leather sofa so as to read a book or surf the web. In these situations, the iPad isn't being properly grounded and could begin to cause the iPad's touch commands to behave incorrectly due to improper grounding. Apple's solution includes adding additional ports to make it easier to ground the iPad and a new notification system to warn the user that the iPad requires to be grounded for proper operation. 

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Apple introduces us to the Personalized Shopping Avatar

1 - cover - apple introduces us to the Personalized Shopping Avatar - Jan 2011 
Apple has long been researching the field of avatars in context with next generation shopping experiences. Their initial research popped up in 2008 in context to a future avatar-centric Apple Store. A year later, Apple introduced us to the head-tracking system in relation to future avatar movements matching our real-world movements and we also learned about the future of 3D internet experiences. While the first generation of avatar creation was rather hokey, like avatars associated with Microsoft's Xbox, next generation avatars show promising realism. It's that realism that will give life to Apple's new personalized shopping avatar application. It will allow users to visualize what clothing, jewelry or accessories will look like on them before purchasing the items from a virtual retailer. The technology will also eventually apply to assisting user's redesign their living room with new furniture that they're thinking of buying or assisting doctors in their communication with patient's over the net.   

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Apple Wins Patent for a High Tactility (Magic) Glove System

1 - cover - high tactility glove system - apple patent jan 2011 
One of the surprises that surfaced at the US Patent and Trademark Office this morning, was a granted patent for a new Magic Glove System from Apple. Being that Apple loves the word Magic,  why not precast it as such right out of the gate. The proposed high tactility glove system isn't as magical as a projection-type of touch panel that was revealed in November. Then again, patents are about concepts and Apple is clearly working on several solutions relating to working with an iPhone in colder weather. Perhaps we'll see one of these solutions come to market sometime in the next year or two.  

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Apple Wins Trackpad, iPhone & Gesturing on Hover Device Patents

1 - Cover - apple patents for magic trackpad, iPhone & gesturing on hover devices - jan 2011 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 13 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Some of the notables within this group include the iPhone's Wireless Communications Circuitry, the technology behind the MacBook and Magic Trackpads including haptics and haptels – and lastly a major win for gesturing. The gesturing patent interestingly relates to the iPad and/or larger surfaces including future "hover" surfaces where real-world gestures could be introduced.    

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HP to Veer Right into Apple's Face

1 - Cover -  HP to focus and Veer Right into Apple's Face - Jan 2011 
Apple and HP have always had a peaceful co-existence. The Woz started with HP and both he and Steve Jobs deeply respect HP. Apple was all-to-happy to make HP an iPod partner in 2004. It was also reported last October that "HP executives gushed about a printing partnership with Apple and the iOS." And Apple just bought a 96 acre Cupertino campus from HP. That's as cozy as it gets in Silicon Valley. But competitors they are and this is the year that HP will veer right into Apple's face.  

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Apple Dreams Up a New User Friendly Connector System

1 - Cover - Apple Dreams Up a New User Friendly Connector System - Jan 2011 apple patent 
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.  

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To Mac Music Geeks: Eight New GarageBand Patents Have Surfaced

1Final - Cover - Seven of Apple's GarageBand Patents Surface 
Eight of Apple's GarageBand patents have surfaced for those who are both geek and musician. The patents cover methods pertaining to such matters as collectively adjusting music tracks; adjusting a variable tempo of an audio file independent of a global tempo; adjusting tracks in a musical arrangement; enabling a user to generate and manipulate string-instrument chord grids; being able to double or replace a recorded sound; and positioning a virtual sound capturing device in a graphical user interface (GUI).   

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