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Apple Granted 50 Patents today Covering a Future Headset, the iPhone 7 Plus In-Depth Camera and More



The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 50 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's new depth camera that debuted with the iPhone 7 Plus and Apple's third granted patent of the year regarding a future video headset. The other two granted patents for a video headset were reported on back in June. Today's granted patent, which was only filed in March 2017, adds a camera to the headset itself beyond a camera associated with an iDevice used in conjunction with the headset. A third granted patent that we touch on covers an alternative Touch ID technology using an ultrasonic transducer. Being that the technology is tied to physical 'home button,' we can see that this will never be used. 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: Head-Mounted Display Apparatus


Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to a future head-mounted display device that works with a portable device such as an iPhone or iPhone touch.


One of the key features of a future head-mounted display system is that it will be able to utilize one or two cameras to capture images and/or video. The image based content may for example be viewed on the display of the head mounted display system. In one embodiment, the image based content may be viewed in addition or alternatively to image based media content playing on the display. In one example, the captured content may be viewed in a picture in picture window along with the media based content.


Apple further notes that headset includes a camera on its backside opposite the display screen allowing users to capture photos or videos of what's in front of the user. If a user needs to see someone in front of them while viewing content like a game or movie, the camera can be switched to view the outside world without having to remove the headset.


Apple's granted patent 9,749,451 was originally filed in Q1 2017 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.


Granted Patent: Image Sensor with In-Pixel Depth Sensing


Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to an image sensor that is configured to provide depth of field information. The depth of field information can be used, for example, to determine an initial lens focus setting, to better focus one or more lenses when an image is captured, for gesture recognition, and in a three dimensional (3D) application. In one embodiment, an image sensor can operate in three different modes. One mode is a charge summing mode, another mode is a high dynamic range mode, and the third mode is a depth of field mode. Apple adopted such a camera for their iPhone 7 Plus model. Apple has yet to introduce the applications associated with this invention.



Apple's patent FIG. 11 noted above depicts a simplified cross-sectional view of the example asymmetrical photo detector pair.


Apple's granted patent 9,749,521 was originally filed in Q3 2016 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.


Granted Patent: Active Sensing Element for Touch ID


Interestingly Apple was also granted a patent for an alternative fingerprint ID methodology involving an ultrasonic transducer under the Home Button. Considering that Apple is moving to advanced facial recognition for their high-end iPhone and over time offering Touch ID under the display, the technology that came late to the table is likely to never be used. For more on this, see Apple's granted patent 9,474,488 here


Apple Granted Seven Design Patents Today


Apple was granted seven design patents today covering the Apple TV GUI, Apple Watch and a 'Fitting' which appears to be associated with Apple's glass staircases as the patent's reference number leads to a staircase. The same inventors are on both design patents.



Apple was also granted design patents for a displays structure as noted below, two iPad cases and a "component for a device."



The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today


5 af x Apple's Remaining Granted Patents for Aug 29  2017

Note: In order to see a clearer image of the list above, simply click on the image above to enlarge it. Some browsers may require that you click on the image and then a second click on the image to enlarge it fully.


14 Patent Notice Bar

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.





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