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Apple Patent Reveals a Next-Gen Mobile Device that Features Multiple Projectors to Project images of a Keyboard for input and more

1 Cover - new iPad housings


Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a continuation patent from Apple that relates to a next-gen mobile device that could double as a mini-desktop and fold differently into an iPad Pro-like or next-gen notebook-like device; which is definitely a great candidate for Apple's next-gen Silicon. The twist that Apple wanted to protect in this continuation patent is that the peripheral frame supporting the display contains multiple projectors to project a keyboard onto a secondary surface and more.   


Today's patent is not a new invention application but rather a continuation patent wherein Apple is updating and/or adding specific technology, features and/or methods that they want to legally extend into their current granted patent.  Any change and/or addition to this invention can be found in Apple's patent claims.


The number one unique feature to Apple's possible next-gen mobile device is incorporating projectors into the device's peripheral frame as noted in patent FIG. 14B below.


2 x Projected Keyboard


Apple further points out in FIG. 14b above that the peripheral housing #403 and/or the display #404 can include one or more projectors #405 and one or more sensors, cameras, and/or other components to detect the position and motion of an extremity of a user.


According to this example, an image of a keyboard #410 can be projected onto the interior of the peripheral housing #403, for example, onto a surface on which the peripheral housing 403 is located. Meaning, the area that you see as a keyboard is not being projected onto another display but rather a surface like a desk. The peripheral housing creates a boarder for the projected keyboard to sit in. It's designed to keep the keyboard in place at all times.


In addition, Apple notes that components within the peripheral housing can detect when, for example, a user touches a projected image of a keyboard key and register this action as an input, for example, by causing the display to react to the user touching the projected key.


The components of the peripheral housing can also detect and respond to gestures by a user. For example, when a user's hand is positioned over the aperture in the peripheral housing, the device #400 can detect a user's gesture, such as a swipe, pinch, finger movement, or other gesture, and cause the display 404 or device 400 to respond appropriately.


Although an image of a traditional keyboard is depicted in FIG. 14B, the components within the peripheral housing 403 can project any image or combination of images as desired. Accordingly, the projected image or images can be determined by a processor of the device 400 based on a variety of factors, such as the device's location, orientation, currently running programs, user preference, and the like.


This could technically mean that instead of a keyboard, the projectors could project gaming controls or other controls that would support a particular application.


New Patent Claims being Added to Apple's Original Invention


Patent Claim #2: … "the input component comprises a capacitive touch sensor." The input component in this case is a physical keyboard accessory as presented below.  


3 x device with physical keyboard accessory


In one part of Patent FIG. 17 above Apple notes that the keyboard can be a flexible keyboard that can be retracted or rolled up entirely within the constant cross-sectional area defined by the peripheral housing #703, when not in use.


Patent Claim #3: … "the input component is configured to wirelessly communicate input from a user to the computing components."

Patent Claim #4: …"further comprising a friction clutch rotatably attaching the first housing portion to the second housing portion."

Patent Claim #15: …"further comprising a sensor disposed within the internal volume to detect a position and a motion of an extremity of a user in a region adjacent to the housing; wherein the sensor is configured to detect a user gesture and communicate with the processor in response to the user gesture."

Patent Claim #19: …"further comprising a sensor to detect a position and a motion of an extremity of a user near the input region."

Patent Claim #20: "The computing device of claim 19, wherein the sensor is configured to detect a user gesture and communicate with the processor in response to the user gesture."


Apple's continuation patent 20200249725 that was published today by the U.S. Patent Office was originally filed back in Q2 2020. Considering that this is a continuation patent, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.


10.51XF - Continuation Patent Report Bar


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