Apple has won a Patent for MicroLED Displays that could apply to Apple Watch, a Future TV, Foldable Devices and more
Yesterday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a key microLED patent. With the original invention dating back to 2013, the verbiage describes "an array of LEDs" associated with "micro chips." The invention appears to have been acquired when Apple purchased LuxVue, a MicroLED leader. Yet Apple has updated this invention 7 times, so the invention is up to date and alive. Our report covers a second granted patent covering Apple's braided charging cable.
Displays Modules & System Applications
The Apple Watch was first introduced on April 24, 2015 with a set design. Yet 16 months earlier, in December 2013, Apple filed an alternative watch design, the technically it was filed by LuxVue that Apple acquired. One of the inventors worked at LuxVue Technology. Yet the patent also listed Kapil Sakariya as an inventor who was with Apple from 2014-2021. He's now with Meta. A third inventor, Andreas Bibi, is listed on at least three Apple patents, though there's no LinkedIn profile to be found. So Apple has been keeping this patent up to date.
The history of the patent shows that Apple updated the original watch patent seven times. If Apple acquired the patent to shelve it due to the Apple Watch, why would they then continue to update the invention with updated patent claims? Well, because the invention covers not only an alternative watch design, it also covers displays for a possible Apple HDTV along with foldable and rollable display devices. The patent focuses on displays more than the individual devices.
Apple's patent Abstract states: "A display module and system applications including a display module are described. The display module may include a display substrate including a front surface, a back surface, and a display area on the front surface. A plurality of interconnects extend through the display substrate from the front surface to the back surface. An array of light emitting diodes (LEDs) are in the display area and electrically connected with the plurality of interconnects, and one or more driver circuits are on the back surface of the display substrate. Exemplary system applications include wearable, rollable, and foldable displays, which are mostly presented in the patent figures below.
For more details, review Apple's granted patent #11676953.
In March 2018 we reported on a rumor of a Secret Apple Micro-LED Display Testing Plant in California. Last month MacRumors posted a rumor report about Apple planning to mass produce MicroLED displays for iPhones. Whether any of these rumors will pan out is unknown at this time. Testing I could understand but mass producing displays seems a bit of a stretch. Though only time will tell.
One More Thing: Braided Charging Cable
Apple was granted a patent Tuesday for their braided charging cable. The battery charger for the Apple Vision Pro also uses a braided cable. Yes, as simple as it may seem, Apple has to patent this or someone, including a patent troll, will sue Apple for if it isn't patented.
Apple's patent abstract states that "This application relates to cable assemblies with an outer (exterior) layer formed from braiding materials together. To achieve a desired pattern, a machine tool forming the outer layer undergoes several modifications. For a machine tool with two tracks (e.g., inner and outer track) with multiple carriers of material to be braided, each carrier position may include multiple bobbins, with each bobbin carrying a spool/coil of the material. During a braiding operation performed by the machine tool, each track rotates in opposite directions. Moreover, some bobbins include an arm that guides the material in a particular manner. For example, during rotation of the track, the arm provides a swinging motion, causing the material carried by the arm to move in a periodic (e.g., sinusoidal) motion. An additional track may be used to guide the arms.
For more details, review Apple's granted patent #11674245.