The US Patent Office Reveals Five Top Apple Patents that have been Updated including a Glass MacBook, a VR System+
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of five continuation patents from Apple that are considered patent updates. The series covers glass Apple devices like a MacBook with close-to invisible notification areas that light-up when needed; a virtual reality system; a MacBook with a deployable key-mouse; devices like an iPhone with sidewall displays; and lastly, a wearable health band to monitor your heart, blood pressure and more.
Patent #1: Concealable Input Regions for Apple Devices
Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent update from Apple regarding redesigns of Apple Watch and MacBook (primarily) wherein their current metal casing would be replaced with one mainly made of glass ("plastic, glass, carbon fiber, ceramic, or other materials"). These next-gen designs would also support close-to-invisible microperforations that form notification areas with interactive buttons. The patent also illustrates how this invention could apply to other devices such as an iPhone and Apple Pencil.
Apple's patent FIG. 10C illustrated below depicts the sample MacBook having multiple illuminated input regions; FIGS. 3A-C illustrate examples of other illuminated symbols that could be presented.
Patent #2: Virtual Reality System
Apple was granted their patent for a virtual reality system back on March 01, 2022. The patent relates to a mixed reality headset with a Dynamic Focus 3D Display. While Conventional VR systems project left and right images onto screens that are viewed by a subject, Apple's new way uses a direct retinal projector system that scans the images, pixel by pixel, directly onto the subject's retinas.
Apple's patent FIG. 9 below depicts an example of a system #900 that includes a frame #905 that may be configured to hold various elements of a VR/AR device, such as a glasses frame, a goggles frame, a helmet, or the like, configured to be worn on or over a subject head so as to position the curved mirrors #415A and #415B in front of the subject left and right eyes, respectively.
Today the U.S. Patent Office published Apple's patent update under #20220155588 to review Apple's 20 new patent claims.
Patent #3: Deployable Key Mouse
Apple was granted this invention back on March 15, 2022. Apple's invention relates to a new kind of compact keyboard design that provides either a removable key (or set of keys) that is usable as a separate input device like a mouse, pointing stick or joystick.
Apple's invention relates to input devices where a keyboard is provided with at least one deployable and removable input device that is specialized for input similar to a handheld mouse, stylus, wand, or other remote, handheld input to a computing device when the deployable input device is separated from the keyboard.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates a keyboard with removable keys that could act as a mouse or pointing device. The keyboard could be a compact or full-sized keyboard. The keyboard could be a desktop computer keyboard or a MacBook keyboard; In FIGS. 1A and 1B a user could use a set of keys to use as a remote input device. The user would press a button to release the keys. the set of keys acting as a remote input device (#106) can have multiple different buttons that provide different operations or functions.
In FIG. 2A above, the housing (#202) can comprise a side surface (#222) that can include a retractable body portion (#224) that can be extendable from the side surface to increase the size of the housing. The body portion can alternatively be referred to as an expandable side feature of the housing.
In some embodiments, the top surface can be convex, as shown by surface (#336) in FIG. 3 above. A convex top surface can be positioned on a rectangular key housing or on an elliptical or cylindrical housing. A concave or convex top surface can beneficially have increased surface area as compared to a flat, planar top surface and can therefore provide additional surface area against which a user can provide touch or sliding input to the removable input device as indicated by the bidirectional arrows (#300). The central feature can also act as a fingerprint scanner.
Patent #4: Electronic Devices with Sidewall Displays
Apple was granted their ninth patent back in February 2022 for electronic devices with sidewall displays that originally dates back to 2011.
Apple notes that the flexible displays may include one or more flexible layers and may be mounted under a transparent display cover layer such as a layer of clear glass or plastic. For example, a flexible display may be mounted on the underside of a cover layer. Flexible displays may include a touch-sensitive layer that allows a user to provide touch input to an electronic device. Display pixels on a flexible display may be used to display visual information to the user.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below is a perspective view of an iPhone with a flexible display having portions on multiple surfaces of a device.
Patent #5: Wearing Dependent Operation of Wearable Device
Lastly, Apple was granted a patent back in December 2019 titled "Wearing Dependent Operation of Wearable Device," that relates to a wearable device (such as a heart rate monitor, blood pressure monitor, fitness monitor, or other wearable device) that attaches to a body part of a user (such as a bicep, an arm, a wrist, a neck, a leg, a torso, and so on) via an attachment member (such as a strap, band, or other attachment member) may operate in at least a connected and a disconnected state.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below is an isometric view of a system (#100) for operating a wearable device (#103) dependent on whether or not the wearable device is worn. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the wearable device is a heart rate monitor including a touch screen display 104 that is wearable by a user by connecting an attachment member strap 102 to the user's bicep 101.
For more details you could review our 2019 granted patent report here and/or review Apple's continuation patent #20220151560 to review their 20 new patent claims (along win many patent claims that have been officially cancelled).