Apple Granted 56 Patents Today Covering an Edge-to-Edge iPhone Display, Touch ID under the Display & 3D Scanner
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 56 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Our report covers three specific patents. One covers a portable 3D scanner associated with a Kinect-like device. Another covers Touch ID that moves from the Home Button to beneath the display. The last patent covers a touch panel that will allow a device like the iPhone 8 to have a display that extends edge-to-edge eliminating the traditional bezel. We wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Granted Patent: Edge to Edge Display
Apple's newly granted patent 9,652,096 covers their invention relating to the fabrication of an electronic device, and more particularly, to bending one or more edges of a touch sensor panel and/or a display panel of an electronic device to reduce the non-interactive border area of the device.
In patent FIG. 8 noted above we're able to see a touch sensor panel #800 made of a flexible substrate. As shown in the figure, the border areas #802 and 804 can wrap around and be folded back against the back surface of the panel 800. This can achieve the advantage of allowing the touch active area of the panel to be extended closer to the edge of the device or reducing the overall width of the device.
Granted Patent: Touch ID under the Display
Apple's newly granted patent 9,652,066 covers their invention relating to an electronic device that includes a touch display and may also include a finger biometric sensor carried by the touch display. The finger biometric sensor may also include a plurality of switchable transparent conductive blocking areas between the finger biometric sensing layer and the at least one transparent conductive layer of the touch display and that are selectively switchable between blocking and reading states. Accordingly, a finger biometric may be sensed during operation of the touch display as noted in patent FIG. 1 below.
Apple notes that Touch ID beneath the display can apply to the iPhone, iPad and MacBook. In the case of the MacBook Pro, the new Touch ID is found in the Touch Bar display as noted below.
Granted Patent: Scanning Depth Engine
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to methods and devices for projection and capture of optical radiation, and particularly to optical 3D mapping.
Patent FIG. 1 is a schematic, pictorial illustration of a depth mapping system. The system is based on a scanning depth engine #22, which captures 3D scene information in a volume of interest (VOI) that includes one or more objects. In this example, the objects comprise at least parts of the bodies of both users #28 and #30. The engine outputs a sequence of frames containing depth data to a computer #24, which processes and extracts high-level information from the map data.
The system is like a portable Kinect device so that users can interact with games or exercise videos played on a computer (or Apple TV).
The patent claims focus on the technical side of the scanner technology rather than the marketing side of the invention. For instance in claim #1 Apple notes the following: Mapping apparatus, comprising: a transmitter, which is configured to emit a beam comprising pulses of light; a scanner, which is configured to scan the beam, within a predefined scan range, over a scene, wherein the scanner is a micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) device and comprises: a substrate, which comprises a micromirror and a support, along with spindles connecting the micromirror to the support along a first axis, while the support is configured to rotate about a second axis; and an electromagnetic drive, which causes the micromirror and the support to rotate about the first and second axes, wherein the electromagnetic drive causes the micromirror to rotate about the first axis at a first frequency, which is a resonant frequency of rotation, while causing the support to rotate about the second axis at a second frequency, which is lower than the first frequency, wherein the transmitter is configured to direct the beam to reflect from the micromirror toward the scene; a receiver, which is configured to receive the light reflected from the scene and to generate an output indicative of a time of flight of the pulses to and from points in the scene; and a processor, which is coupled to control the scanner so as to cause the beam to scan over a selected window within the scan range and to process the output of the receiver so as to generate a 3D map of a part of the scene that is within the selected window.
To review the technical side of the invention, see granted patent 9,651,417
When Apple acquired PrimeSense, Patently Apple posted a report titled "Take a Peek at a Few Key PrimeSense Patents that Apple Gained." Today's granted patent was referred to in that report.
One More Thing
Apple was granted a patent today titled "Electronic device with radially deployed components." The patent is clearly for the Mac Pro. The figure showing the cylindrical Mac Pro is supported by Apple stating: "FIG. 5 shows how electronic device 10 may have a cylindrical housing. Device 10 may be, for example, a desktop computer such as the Mac Pro computer available from Apple Inc. of Cupertino, Calif."
A competing site is trying to say today that this is a patent for Apple's Echo-Like device. There is no support for such a theory and no mention or support for Siri. The patent is simply supporting 'radially deployed components' for the Mac Pro, end of story. Check it out for yourself here.
The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today
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Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Those using abusive language or behavior will result in being blacklisted on Disqus.