Apple has Invented an Apple Store Product Table Security System designed to thwart Quick Grab-and-Run Robberies
In the summer of 2018 Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple has to rethink their Open Apple Store Design as another Robbery in California occurred in Front of Customers." The report covered a robbery in progress video that from the perspective of a Mall surveillance camera.
With so many Apple Store robberies haven taken place since that time, Apple is once again rethinking how they should secure Apple devices that sit out freely on product tables at all Apple Stores worldwide.
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple simply titled "Product-Display System." Apple notes that "In some cases, a retailer may further desire to limit the potential purchaser's ability to remove products from a display area."
Apple's engineers note in their patent filing that some retailers may wish to display products to potential customers in order to entice customers to purchase products, or to allow customers to interact with and experience the displayed products before making a purchase.
For example, some retailers may have a display model product that is representative of products that are available for purchase by a customer, and may make the displayed product accessible to a user, for example, by displaying the product on a retail fixture in a display area.
However, some retailers may wish to limit the ability of the customer to remove the display product from the display area (e.g., to prevent theft or other unauthorized use).
Apple's invention relates to new product-display systems which may be used, for example, to display products to customers while limiting the customer's ability to remove the displayed product from a display area.
The product-display systems may present the displayed products in a consistent, visually-appealing manner. Embodiments described may also allow customers to use and manipulate the displayed products without being encumbered by the security features of the product-display system.
For example, the product-display system may allow a customer to easily lift, rotate, and manipulate a displayed product in a smooth, fluid, and user-friendly manner, such that the security features do not detract from a customer's experience when viewing, handling, and testing the displayed product.
Embodiments include a product retainer and a display stem that, together, may present a displayed product to a customer. The retainer may, for example, include a bracket that wraps around opposing sides of a displayed product in order to secure the bracket to the displayed product.
The retainer may further include a retainer body that may be coupled to the bracket. The retainer may have a smooth, clean appearance without any fasteners of the retainer being visibly or physically obtrusive to the customer.
The retainer may also include integrated electronics for connecting to a displayed product without such connections being visibly or physically obtrusive to the customer. The retainer may further have a low, sleek profile such that the retainer itself is not physically observable or obtrusive to the customer.
As shown in FIG. 1, a product-display system #100 may be used to display and secure Apple products such as iPhones, tablets, Apple Watch and an accessory such as the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro and more; FIG. 2 shows an exploded perspective view of portions of the product-display system of FIG. 1; FIG. 9 shows an exploded view of the cable-retraction unit; FIG. 11 illustrates an iPad Pro with its associated Magic Keyboard attached with the new security system: FIG. 13 presents a side view of the iPad Pro attached with a retainer bracket.
The patent also details a security system built in to prevent unauthorized removal of products from the display area. The security system may include an alarm module that may monitor the presence of a product (e.g., via a data and/or power connection), and an alarm may be triggered (e.g., an audible alarm on the alarm module) if the security system detects that a product has been disconnected from the display area.
Further, in some embodiments, the products themselves may also monitor the presence of the alarm module (e.g., via a data and/or power connection), and an alarm may be triggered (e.g., an audible alarm on the product) if it is detected that a product has been disconnected from the display area.
The cabling system will allow users to pick up a unit to a comfortable level for most products unlike some retail stores that will only allow a tablet to be raised inches off the table. The cabling system is design to allow maximum freedom while securely ensuring that the product can't be removed from the table without trigger an alarm.
Should Apple actually follow though on this product table security system in the future, it should easily stop the quick grab and run robberies that their stores have undergone over the past few years. Even Apple fans get rattled when thugs go into attack mode and it's negative PR all around that Apple could live without.
Apple's patent application number 20200400268 that was published today by the U.S. Patent Office was filed back February 2020 with 2 provisional patents (not made public) having been filed in mid-2019. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.