Apple files for Patents covering Folded Optics with Tilt Actuator & Spring Suspension, Textured Glass & Bright Gold for Apple Devices
While there wasn't a knockout Apple patent published today, there were a string of interesting patents covers a wide array of technologies. In an earlier report posted today we covered wearable loop devices, the HomePod mini, ultrasonic proximity sensors and a drone antenna system. In this patent report be cover folded optic with a tilt actuator and spring suspension system, iPhones with textured glass and Apple's work on developing a brighter gold color for iPhones.
Folded Optics with Tilt Actuator and Spring Suspension
2021 was a busy year for Apple patents relating to a future folded camera system for iPhone (01, 02, 03 & 04) that would greatly advance zoom functionality to be on par or close to what Samsung's Galaxy smartphones deliver. Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that's a little different in that it relates to a tilt actuator and/or spring suspension arrangement specifically designed for a future folded camera system.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates a schematic perspective view of an example camera having a folded optics arrangement and that may include a tilt actuator and/or a spring suspension arrangement.
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According to various embodiments, the camera #100 may include at least one light path-folding element (e.g., a prism, a mirror, etc.; also referred to herein as a "light folding element") that can be tilted relative to one or more other optical elements and/or an image sensor.
If you're a camera buff, then you could check out the details of Apple's patent application here.
iPhone with Textured Glass and Glass Ceramic Components
In November 2020 Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple was Granted a Patent that Details Backside iPhone Specialty Glass Finishes." The patent was directed to forming a texture and other surface features on a glass component of an enclosure. The texture may also be configured to provide a particular "feel" to the electronic device.
Today, Apple's patent titled "Electronic device enclosure having a textured glass component" was published and builds on their previous work. Apple's patent abstract states that "The textured cover assemblies may provide a combination of optical and tactile properties to the electronic devices. In some cases, a textured cover assembly may be provided over decorative coating."
A textured surface region of the component may be configured to provide a desired appearance and/or "feel" to the exterior surface of the enclosure. In some cases, the textured surface region provides a matte appearance to the exterior surface of the enclosure.
In some cases, the textured component includes differently textured regions along an external surface of the component. The differently textured surface regions may produce optical contrast between different portions of the component.
For example, the differently textured surface regions may produce different gloss levels, different translucency values, or both. In some embodiments, each of the differently textured surface regions may have a sufficiently high light transmissivity that the color of an internal coating can be perceived through the component.
The differently textured surface regions may also provide a different "feel" to different portions of the component. In some embodiments, each of the textured surface regions may be configured so that the component has an acceptable strength level and/or ability to be cleaned of trapped debris.
In some cases, the enclosure includes a cover assembly and the textured component is part of the cover assembly. For example, the cover assembly may further include an interior coating and/or an exterior coating applied to the textured component. The interior coating may be a cosmetic coating, such as an ink layer. The exterior coating may include one or more of an anti-reflective coating, a smudge-proof coating, such as an oleophobic coating, and the like.
Apple's patent FIG. 1A below shows a front view of an example electronic device including a textured cover member; FIG. 2 shows a rear view of an iPhone with a texture; and FIG. 8 shows a flow chart of an example process for forming a textured cover component.
To review Apple's greatly detailed patent application 20220071039, click here.
And while we're on the topic of iPhone finishes, another Apple patent published today titled "Bright Color Coatings for Electronic Devices." . In particular, the patent points to a "coating that may exhibit a high-brightness gold color without using real gold in the uppermost layer."
Maybe it's just me, but it sounds like the patent is describing a gold color that is different than the one found on the iPhone 13 Pro which is anything but bright. Then again, the patent isn't restricted to the iPhone and lists many current or future devices their invention could apply to such as an HMD, smartglasses, Macs, Apple Watch, a television and many more.
It's a very technical patent and for those interested, check out patent application 20220066397 here. Be sure to do a word search while on the patent for "gold" so you can get to the right text much quicker.