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Apple wins a Patent for an interesting new case & docking system that morphs the iPhone's UI to a Dedicated one for a Camera, Gaming+

1 cover - Cases and Docks could change iPhone UI to dedicated functions patent

 

Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that relates to electronic devices and accessories that use near-field wireless communication systems to dynamically alter the operation of the electronic devices. For example, when an iPhone is placed in a sport-focused protective case, the iPhone may, without additional user input, replace its primary graphical user interface (or any graphical user interface that is currently active) with a sport-focused interface.

 

Apple's granted patent covers system of electronic devices and electronic device accessories that use near-field wireless communication techniques to dynamically modify or change how a device operates.

 

For example, various different accessories for electronic devices may each include near-field wireless communication antennas that allow the accessories to be detected and identified by the electronic device. Once a particular accessory is detected near the electronic device, the electronic device may change its mode of operation in a manner that is unique to that particular accessory or type of accessory.

 

For example, a protective case for an iPhone may be configured to change the operational mode of the mobile phone in one manner, while charging docks change the operational mode of the mobile phone in another manner, while an "alarm clock" docking accessory changes the operational mode of the mobile phone in yet another manner.

 

The change in operational mode may correspond to and/or be accompanied with a change in the graphical user interface or graphical output that is displayed by the mobile phone.

 

For example, when an iPhone is placed in a sport-focused protective case, the iPhone may, without additional user input, replace its primary graphical user interface (or any graphical user interface that is currently active) with a sport-focused interface.

 

As another example, when an iPhone is placed on a speaker dock, the mobile phone may replace its primary graphical user interface with a set of audio playback controls.

 

The graphical user interfaces that are activated when a device is used with an accessory may therefore be customized to a particular function or set of functions that are relevant to the associated accessory.

 

In some cases, these graphical user interfaces may be simpler than a primary graphical user interface (e.g., having fewer and/or larger graphical objects), which may help facilitate more efficient use of the device and may be dedicated to a particular function set or operational mode of the device.

 

Apple's patent FIG. 1A depicts an example system including an electronic device and associated accessories; FIG. 1B depicts the device of FIG. 1A and an example accessory in use together.

 

2 x Apple patent  next gen accessories can change a device's UI

 

Apple's patent FIGS. 2A-2B below depict an example wireless charging system for the device of FIG. 1A.

 

3 Apple charger patent figures

 

Apple's patent FIG. 4 below illustrates a Car Dock. When the iPhone is inserted, the traditional UI disappears and replaced with CarPlay and Maps.

 

4 Custom cases for Carplay  Camera and Gaming

 

Apple's patent FIG. 5 above illustrates two new specialized cases. One transforms the iPhone UI to one focused on camera functionality. The second is designed for gaming where added gaming button functionality has been added.

 

Apple's patent FIG. 6 below illustrates a Home Automation iPhone Case that alters the traditional iPhone UI to one dedicated to all things Home Automation including a TV remote; FIG. 8 above provides a flow chart of the Custom Case / Docking System.

 

5 - Home Automation Case + System overview - Apple Patent  Patently Apple

 

More specifically, Apple notes that the auxiliary graphical user interfaces may be created by allowing a user to select from a group of candidate graphical objects. FIG. 6, for example, illustrates an example group of candidate graphical objects, including an audio control object #600, a home automation object #602, a recipe object #604, a timer object #606, a calendar object #608, a channel guide and selection object #610, a clock object #612, a weather object #614, and a news-feed object #616.

 

In order to create an auxiliary graphical user interface, the user may select graphical objects from the group of candidate graphical objects, associate them with particular locations on the display of the device (e.g., defining a user-defined arrangement), and associate the auxiliary graphical user interface with a particular accessory.

 

The graphical objects may have input objects, output objects, or both. Notably, the user may define numerous auxiliary graphical user interfaces each with different objects or different combinations of objects (or even with the same objects in a different user-defined arrangement). For example, one auxiliary graphical user interface may include the audio control object, while another may lack the audio control object. By providing such flexibility, users can produce highly customized and relevant auxiliary user interfaces for use with numerous different docks and accessories.

 

For more details, review Apple's granted patent 11,240,365 titled "Dynamic user interface schemes for an electronic device based on detected accessory devices."   

 

10.52FX - Granted Patent Bar

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