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.
On February 24, 2011, The European Trademarks and Designs Office published Apple's latest trademark application for the word "Places" under application 009760141. Apple has filed their trademark under four distinct International Classes covering all manner of computer hardware, education and entertainment services and more. Yet at the heart of this application, Places is primarily about online social networking services related to a social networking site and will assist in locating people using GPS on Apple's mobile devices. Whether this will be coordinated with Apple's iTunes social networking music service called Ping is unknown at this time.
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.
On January 12, 2011, BGR reported that a source had revealed to them that Apple's Photo Booth was coming to the iPad. The very next day 9 to 5 Mac added to this news by stating that they had discovered two new iOS 4.3 frameworks, mainly "PhotoBooth" and PhotoBoothEffects." And today, Patently Apple presents you with a knock out patent report that all but confirms that Photo Booth is indeed coming to the iPad as well as to the iPhone and iPod touch for that matter. In fact, it appears that there's even a major upgrade of Photo Booth being geared up for this summer's debut of OS X Lion that will make it available for all Mac hardware. And considering that it will debut on Macs with Intel's new powerful Sandy Bridge chipset, I'm sure it'll appear like Photo Booth on Steroids!
In our second granted patent report of the day, we present you with a number of Apple's granted patents relating to Mail, Aperture and iPhoto. Yet perhaps the more important granted patents of the day go to two specific patents covering Apple's e-ink and magnetometer technologies; the latter of which is central to Apple's geo-location services found in all current iPhone and 3G iPad devices.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 12 newly granted patents plus 4 unique design patents for Apple Inc. today. In our first granted patent report of the day we'll show you Apple's four winning hardware designs in addition to giving you a peek at one of Apple's forthcoming iPhone e-wallet icons.
Earlier this month, Apple filed for a new MacBook Pro trademark. It was busy for us this month and it just seemed to be a run of the mill trademark update not worth mentioning. Then CNET's news surfaced this weekend about the possibility that the updated MacBook's could be adopting Light Peak. So back to the trademark filing we went to see if there were any clues that could support that notion. Lo and behold, there was. While I hate grabbing at straws, there certainly is one feature listed that could fit the bill – if you know how to connect the dots.
With OS X nearing its launch this summer, we just might have gotten a glimpse at either a Time Machine or MobileMe upgrade in one of this week's patents. Apple wants to beef up sensitive document security for average consumers and they want to do it in a way that will get consumers used to trusting Apple branded cloud based software and/or services. Even if you don't have sensitive documents like a Living Will or Home Insurance Policy that you want to protect, everyone wants to protect their investment in iTunes! You've invested a lot of money in your music, movies, books and app purchases – and that's reason enough to want to use this upcoming new feature relating to a virtual safe deposit box. While there may not be diamonds in the sky as the Beatles once described, the cloud is where the industry thinks the money is heading in the future. And with that in mind, Apple wants consumers to trust them on this front early on, beginning with a friendly little app called the safe deposit box.
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 nine newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group include one that relates to Apple's "Slide to Unlock" iOS GUI function and one for Aperture's "magnifying loupe" feature that assists digital photographers. And being that the iPhone nano is on the front burner again, we once again review Apple's two standing patents on this product which range from a simple design to that of a ground breaking dual-surface mini device that could rock the market. With the iPad's popularity growing, there's a definite need for a smaller smartphone. With HP taking the lead here, Apple has to ramp up their efforts on the iPhone nano or risk falling behind in this hot emerging trend.
Taiwan's DigiTimes is reporting this morning that Apple will use a four inch display in their upcoming iPhone 5 so as to compete with Google's android phones. The displays are now in a production testing phase, according to DigiTimes. In this same report, DigiTimes adds that OLED is another important development on the horizon. In July 2010, DigiTimes reported that rumors were swirling around the iPad adopting OLED in 2011. Finally, in a second report this morning, DigiTimes is reporting that Apple is shifting their "enhanced A4" processor for the iPad 2 and possible A5 based iPhone orders away from Samsung and outsourcing them to TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company). DigiTimes speculates Samsung's aggressive moves against Apple's products may have prompted the shift.
Nokia is seeking a Motion to Compel Infineon to produce documents relating to their baseband processor used by Apple's iPhone to prove that Apple is in fact infringing on Nokia's core ten patents known as the "Essential Patents." The case reads like a spy novel with many twists and turns. The complication in this case revolves around Intel's acquisition of Infineon's wireless division and who is responsible for coughing up these crucial documents to assist Nokia's infringement case against Apple. It seems everyone is pointing at everyone else to run out the clock. Nokia is determined to get their hands on these documents that may or may not win their case. It's a nail bitter, that's for sure.
Apple's Research and Development teams are definitely on a roll in respect to searching for the next round of advanced display technologies that could storm the market in the coming months and years ahead. On Tuesday we covered Apple's work on displays that could incorporate new hovering sensory technologies and just yesterday we covered Apple's research into OLED multi-touch displays. In today's report, we see that Apple is working with new Optical In-LCD Sensing Panels that will be able to read barcodes, OCR and QR codes easier and more importantly, allow your iPhone or iPod Touch to double as an advanced scanner or even a mouse – for games and more. What will they think of next? Update 11:30 AM EST: News of iTunes upgrading to 24 bit quality was revealed at yesterday's HP event.
In case you haven't caught on yet, there's a multi-touch centric device revolution going on. Late this morning, HP entered the ring (Update: see the new TouchPad Video) and this heavyweight is out for blood and marketshare. While the latter will suffice, the point is that the market that was once Apple's alone, is about to dramatically change. HP's latest round of trademarks points to a duo-display type of unit that's on the way and they're going to provide consumers with a lot more diversity in terms of design and price points. And joking aside, even Motorola is now on the warpath. In order for Apple to Keep their edge on these competitors, they're going to have to kick things up a notch on all things touch. In a new batch of patents that have come to light, we see that Apple is focused on bringing OLED displays to iOS and other types of devices sometime in the coming months or years.
It was about a year ago when we first learned of Apple's initial work on smart bezels that could one day apply to future versions of the iPad and/or other devices. As is the case with most cyclical research, ideas have a natural ebb and flow to them. In today's report you'll learn a little more about the smart bezel's advancements via hovering technology and about a new idea to make iOS displays a little more touch sensitive – if that's even possible. The good news is that Apple has taken some of the initial technology and thinking that was behind their smart bezel project and first applied it to other devices such as the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad. So now that we know that touch technology can go beyond mere displays, the idea of it applying to a future iPad bezel isn't as farfetched as it may have been just a year ago. Such is the nature of progress.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of ten newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group includes one that relates to Apple's Automator workflow tool, another for Final Cut Pro's color correction tool and yet another for a new paint brush feature that builds on the case that Apple has their eye on a new graphics app. And finally, Apple has won their first patent for Ping – their social network for music service – only five months after its initial release. Now that was a surprise and chalks up another patent fulfilled.
Late yesterday, the LA Times broke the great news that the FDA approved an image diagnostics app for Apple devices. According to the report, the Food and Drug Administration ushered in the era of mobile diagnostic radiology, approving software for viewing images and making medical diagnoses from MRIs and CT, PET and SPECT scans on several of Apple's popular hand-held devices. Patently Apple covered this important area of technology in our March 2010 report focusing on Body Area Networks. In that report we presented a few videos from the Foothills Medical Center's Stroke Unit in Calgary, Alberta, Canada where this technology is already in use with iPhones. It's great to see Apple's iPhone being used in vital areas of professional life – and better yet – assisting doctors in saving lives.
Motorola, the company whose chip was never able to keep Apple in the computer game, now wants us to root for them trying to save us from Big Brother Apple. Really? – That's the best that Motorola's marketing team could come up with? Yes Moto-Men, you're from a red planet and you're going to show us the way with …Google's Honeycomb? – Really? Does this get any funnier? Maybe it's just me. So, tell me what you think about this feeble attempt. Do you think that the old tired rehashed and replayed 1984 theme is up to the task of stopping the Apple iPhone freight train? – or are you ready to convert to the hole-y Queen Bee's Honeycomb? Comment now or after you've seen the whole joke on Sunday. Oh, by the way, there's a second funny video after the break. Check it out.
A powerhouse of Silicon Valley software companies lead by Apple have collectively filed a Copyright Infringement lawsuit against Edy Jean Dollisme of "Ultimate PC Repairs" a website conducting business online and on sites like Craigslist. The plaintiffs allege that the "defendant has acted with willful blindness to and in reckless disregard of Plaintiffs' registered copyrights." The case is about software piracy and it could be an interesting case to follow. This report provides all of the pertinent details related to Apple's involvement in this case without interpretation.
Last July Apple was granted a patent for a graphics tablet and since then several other specialty pen and display patents have come to light. Today's patent report covers a new stylus-friendly touch display designed to work with a new kind of stylus that works with a conductive disk and unique pivoting head. While the proposed pen system could be used with standard iPhone apps, the patent clearly points to the system being more graphics oriented as it mentions working with brush tools and the like. And lastly, the new pen even has a gaming angle to it that could be fun.
On February 3, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for Apple's iPad. A future iPad, according to Apple, may include a built-in stand that could pivot to provide both landscape and portrait support while allowing the unit to be further angled just right for use with the iPad's virtual keyboard. The concept of the new advanced stand supports another recent Apple patent concerning added connectors for a future iPad. Apple's invention could technically eliminate the need for their current docking station.
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.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 18 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this first group includes one that relates to Apple's portable device retail packaging that Steve Jobs lent a hand in somehow and another for invisible light transitive displays that have, in-part, already been put into action on MacBooks. Lastly, Apple has won their fourth and fifth Light Sensitive displays in the last four months. The proof of a future display working with an advanced light-pen is certainly gathering steam.