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New Apple granted patents cover a Beats Flex Design Patent, multiple Project Titan inventions Like Nighttime Vision & Climate Control & more

1 cover Nighttime Sensing  Project Titan Patent Image

Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 41 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. In this particular report we cover a series of Project Titan patents covering Nighttime Vision/Sensing, Climate Control and Window systems. In addition, our report covers a design patent for Beats Flex. 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 this week.

Project Titan Patent: Nighttime Sensing

Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that relates to Project Titan and more specifically to multi-modal sensing for nighttime autonomous driving object detection and recognition. The superiority of the new system over traditional headlights when driving at night is going to save a lot of lives in the future.

Overall Apple's invention covers implementations of multi-modal sensing for nighttime autonomous driving object detection and recognition.

Apple explains that nighttime or low-light environments present challenges for automated vehicle control systems. For example, the illumination level provided by headlights on a vehicle at night may be limited by laws or regulations, which may in turn limit the effective range of a visible spectrum sensor (e.g., a camera) used for detecting objects in or near the path of the vehicle.

Having a limited effective range (e.g., about 60 meters = 180 feet) for detecting and or classifying objects can reduce safety and/or reduce the speed at which the vehicle can travel safely.

A combination of multiple complimentary image sensing technologies may be employed to address the challenges of nighttime or low-light environment object detection and classification. For example, there may be looser or no restrictions on the illumination level of a near infrared illuminator mounted on a vehicle.

A near infrared sensor with a near infrared illuminator can be configured to capture high resolution image information about objects in or near a path of the vehicle out to a significantly longer range (e.g., 200 meters = 600 feet) from the vehicle.

 The techniques described in Apple's patent application may provide improvements over prior computer vision systems for automated vehicles. Some implementations may increase the effective range at which objects in or near the path of a vehicle may be detected and classified. Some implementations may more accurately classify objects in a low-light environment. Safety of an automated vehicle control system may be improved and/or the maximum safe speed in low-light environments may be increased.

Apple's patent FIG. 4 below is a block diagram of an example of a vehicle configured for multi-modal sensing for nighttime autonomous object detection and recognition; FIG. 7 is a diagram of an example of overlapping fields of view for multiple sensors of different types mounted on a vehicle.

2 apple nighttime sensing Project Titan

For more on this patent and its latest 20 new patent claims, review Apple's granted patent US 11600075 B2.

Systems With Adjustable Window Transmission And Haze

Another Project Titan patent granted today includes one titled "Systems With Adjustable Window Transmission And Haze." Apple's second Project Titan granted patent of the day covers a next-gen windows system that may include electrically adjustable layers. An electrically adjustable layer may have adjustable optical properties. An adjustable layer may, as an example, have guest-host liquid crystal cells and liquid crystal cells (i.e., non-guest-host cells) embedded in a polymer matrix that may be used to provide the adjustable layer with adjustable amounts of haze and light transmission.

Systems that that may be provided with windows and other transparent structures having electrically adjustable layers may include buildings, vehicles, electronic devices systems (e.g., head-mounted devices such as glasses with adjustable lenses), and other suitable systems. 

Apple's patent FIG. 6 below illustrates a cross-sectional side view of an illustrative adjustable window layer that has guest-host liquid crystal cells and interspersed dye-free liquid crystal cells in a polymer matrix

3 Apple patent fig. 6 - Window System - customized and controllable tinting

For more on this, review Apple's granted patent number US 11598985 B1.

Last Thursday, USPTO published an Apple patent application titled "Windows With Uniform Thicknesses." Apple's invention relates to a vehicle windows system cover all windows of a vehicle including a sunroof.  A window may include one or more structural glass layers. A layer of polymer may be used to attach glass layers together. An electrically adjustable component such as a light modulator layer may be included between structural glass layers. The glass layers may be characterized by regions of compound curvature. To ensure satisfactory optical performance, the window layers may be formed from molded sheets of glass that are shaped in a molding tool with draw beads of various strengths. The molded glass layers may exhibit low amounts of thickness variation. You could review patent application 20230060365 here.

Lastly on Project Titan, the U.S. Patent Office also published a Project Titan patent application titled "Climate Control System." The invention relates to a  climate control system for a vehicle includes a front-end or first heat exchanger configured to thermally condition airflow from an environment external to a vehicle cabin, a rear-end or second heat exchanger configured to thermally condition airflow from the vehicle cabin, a recirculation path configured to return airflow from the second heat exchanger to the vehicle cabin, and an extraction path configured to vent airflow from the second heat exchanger to the environment external to the vehicle cabin. Various operational modes of the climate control system direct airflow to either the recirculation path or the extraction path. For more on patent application 20230061874, click here.

A Key Design Patent

4 apple design patent for Beats Flex

For more on this, review Apple's granted patent number US 11598985 B1. 

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