Apple won 40 patents today covering a Two-Prong Temperature Sensing System that will keep future Apple devices cooler and more
Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 40 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. In this particular report we briefly cover Apple’s invention relating to a new Two-Prong Temperature Sensing System that will be able to keep future Apple Devices Cooler. In addition, Apple was granted a design patent for the iPad’s ‘Magic Keyboard’ accessory. And as always, we wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Temperature Gradient Sensing in Mobile Devices
Overall, Apple's newly granted patent covers an electronic device (e.g., Apple Watch, Apple Pencil, AirPods Pro & Max, a future smart cuff and/or health monitoring devices & more) housing that encloses a temperature sensing system including a temperature sensor and a differential temperature probe.
The differential temperature probe includes a flexible substrate defining two ends. A first end is thermally coupled to the temperature sensor and a second end is thermally coupled to a surface, volume, or component of the electronic device.
The temperature probe is an in-plane thermopile including a series-coupled set of thermocouples extending from the first end to the second end. A temperature measured at the temperature sensor can be a first measured temperature and a voltage difference across leads of the differential temperature probe can be correlated to a differential temperature relative to the first measured temperature. A sum of the differential temperature and the first measured temperature is a second measured temperature, quantifying a temperature of the second end of the differential temperature probe.
An internal probe location may be defined relative to a particular electronic component within an electronic device housing, such as a processor, memory, battery, display, or input sensor. In other cases, an external probe location may be defined relative to an external surface of an electronic device housing, such as a cover glass surface, an exterior button or input device, or a back surface such as a back crystal of a smart watch.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below depicts an example Apple Watch that can incorporate a temperature sensing system; FIG. 2 depicts a simplified system diagram of a temperature sensing system disposed within the housing of an Apple Watch; FIGS. 5C – 5F depict an example differential temperature probe that takes a low aspect ratio rectilinear shape. In particular, the temperature probe 500a implemented as an in-plane thermopile can be supported by a substrate (#502) onto which a continuous conductive path (#504).
As shown in FIGS. 5E-5F above, a cross-shaped temperature probe may be suitable in some implementations. In particular, in FIG. 5E, a temperature probe #500c is depicted.
Apple's patent note that …”The wearable electronic device can obtain a highly accurate and highly precise measurement of the user's skin temperature which, in turn, can be leveraged for: health or fitness recommendations; health or fitness tracking; biometric identification; wearable device fit evaluation; and so on.”
For engineers wanting to dive deeper into the details, review Apple's patent granted patent 11,408,778
A Key Granted Design Patent
Today’s Remaining Granted Patents
Patent Reports published earlier today:
01: Apple is granted a patent for a possible future MacBook-Like Device that takes on a Glass Form Factor
02: Apple wins a patent for a Specialized Smart Ring System to be used primarily in context with Mixed Reality Applications