On June 30, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals various new advanced vicinity sensors coming to future iPads. Apple's patent makes it clear that vicinity sensors will be a tool that will fit into the enterprise quite nicely. New vicinity sensors coming to the iPad include RFID, Infrared and Ultrasonic. The latter utilizes advanced 3D scanning and imaging capablilities. The advanced sensors are designed to locate office equipment anywhere within an enterprise and could actually devise floor plans to properly located devices. Users will also be able to drag document icons to the printer or videos and/or art to a video projector for a presentation using Keynote or Power Point. Without a doubt, Apple is aiming to further advance the iPad into the enterprise.
On June 30, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for docking stations. Apple's current docking solutions are primarily restricted to iOS devices and are basically passive in nature. Today's patent application reveals Apple's intentions of expanding docking solutions to the MacBook while introducing us to the smart-dock. This next generation docking station will be location-smart or location-aware. For example, the proposed dynamic docking station could automatically be set to work with your living room devices such as your HDTV and/or stereo and then switch its configuration to work with other peripherals when you transport it to your office, car or elsewhere.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 10 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The three notables that stood out from the pack this morning include one for Apple's workflow Automator, Apple's keyboard with numeric pad design and a patent covering the laminated window assembly for devices like the iPhone and iPad. In addition to granted patents, Apple has filed for three US trademarks this morning covering their new Final Cut Pro X, Motion and Compressor icons.
On June 24, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for Apple's iTunes. Apple's revelation pertains to a new elaborate system that will essentially allow users to borrow tunes on a limited time basis before asking them to buy the tune or have it erased from their playlist. When you understand the principles behind Apple's coming Music Match system for iCloud, then you could easily see how Apple could implement this proposed borrowing system. Apple will be able to scan and monitor each tune's time limit on your devices. The music industry needs to get more tunes into more users devices and the old marketing systems of yesteryear aren't delivering as they should. While Apple's proposed borrowing system is definitely a big marketing gamble for both Apple and the music industry, it could also be one of the most ingenious marketing moves in recent times. Report Updated with news of a new shock dampening mount for hard drives.
On June 23, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's patent application titled "Image Capture Device Having Tilt and/or Perspective Correction. Apple's patent generally relates to image capture devices in electronic systems, and more particularly to image capture devices having the ability to correct for tilt and/or perspective distortion. Although it's not the most interesting patent application of the year, there was definitely a hint of camera watch that could use Apple's new camera technology that was worth noting. In other IP News, the application that Apple made last summer covering their stunning glass structured Apple Store is about to officially get trademarked. It's definitely the coolest retail store design that I've ever seen, and I think that most would agree.
On June 23, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals various concepts behind a newly advanced directional audio interface. In one scenario, a specialized effect with a new kind of headset on would create an invisible spatial arc over the user's head that could control iPod menus through air gestures. Alternatives work with sensors in the iPod so that a user could map out movements to specific menu actions as our opening graphic illustrates. Apple's patent provides us with a mix of practical and very futuristic concepts on how we'll be able to control our iPod menus in the future through new audio interfaces. Concepts that will drive the competition mad once again.
On June 23, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for AppleTV. The proposed system is described by Apple as being an enhanced TV widget paradigm. While Google has gotten an early start in this arena of TV meets the Internet, the system is basically working with static widgets. Apple's paradigm involves taking widgets to the next level of live widgets that will interact with TV shows like NBC's "The Voice" so that users could directly vote for their favorite candidates from their HDTV effortlessly. The system will also work with live sports like football with other live content is in the works. The system still involves Apple's AppleTV set-top-box but with a twist. It will finally hook up with regular Cable TV networks! Now that could be hot!
On June 21, 2011, the European Patent & Trademark Office officially published six of Apple's figurative trademark applications for Final Cut Pro X Graphics. Apple has filed for Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 and Compressor 4 figurative trademarks in both color and black-and-white. All of the applications were filed under three International Classes covering computer graphics software relating to computer software for use in all facets of video and motion picture production and telecommunications. The third International Class specifically relates to application service provider services that may actually cover future iCloud services. The class description includes "hosting computer software applications and web sites of others on global computer networks." The trademark applications coincide with the release of Final Cut Pro X today. Report Update: Apple files for iPhone 4 Design Trademark in China.
Apple Wins Patents for their Original iPhone Interface, a MicroDVI Connector, the iMac's Edge-to-Edge Glass Cover, Front Row Software & More
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of nine newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. There were four patents that stood out from the pack this morning. The first covered Apple's original Front Row multimedia app which debuted in 2005. The second covered the iMac's unique edge-to-edge glass cover that came to market in 2010. The third covered one of the original iPhone user interface patents that described the use of touch-activated icons and apps as well as its virtual keyboard and more. And finally, an interesting patent about a proprietary MicroDVI connector surfaced this morning that is likely referring to Apple's Mini DisplayPort connector. All in all, today's round of granted patents proved to be a rather interesting mix of technologies.
Pre-orders for Hewlett Packard's TouchPad begin today at Best Buy and Future Shop in Canada for availability on July 15. HP's WebOS could drive their upcoming tablet to third spot behind Apple's iPad within the next 18-24 months. Jonathan Rubenstein, who was Senior VP of Apple's iPod division, is behind the rise of WebOS and HP's TouchPad website which actually has some class. Rubinstein who worked with Steve Jobs as far back as NeXT understands Apple and how to compete with them. HP's ability to drive WebOS to their entire hardware line-up of desktops and laptops within the next 6-18 months is going to give them a huge advantage over competitors. And with HP's CEO Leo Apotheker hinting of licensing WebOS earlier this month, HP could be the dark horse to watch out for going forward.
On June 17, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published documentation relating to the legal transfer of the "Airdrop" trademark from Urban Airship to Apple. Urban Airship was only granted their certificate of registration last month which put a little pressure on Apple to acquire it, pronto. On this same day, Patently Apple has discovered that Apple has filed applications for their AirDrop trademark in China and iCloud related service "Photo Stream" in Canada. The latter may act as Apple's priority filing. Updated July 26, 2011.
On June 16, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for Apple's FaceTime videoconferencing application. Simply put, Apple understands that in this mobile world that we're now living in, FaceTime videoconferencing won't always take place on your nice stable iMac desktop but rather on the go. Apple's patent discusses fine tuning FaceTime videoconferencing so as to take advantage of face recognition software that is able to figure out where the center of your mobile display is while you're moving about. In theory it sounds interesting, but it's one of those features that you're going to have to test out yourself when it arrives – just to see if Apple has hit the mark on this one. Stabilizing video is going to be important feature going forward. And if you've ever shot video on an iOS device before, then you're fully aware that we need better stabilization technology badly!
Social networking on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook are a huge success with today's in-crowd. Today's social apps typically use matching algorithms to match members with members who are deemed compatible by with their interests and values. As of today, Apple has tippy-toed into this arena with their introductory social network for music called Ping and will be wholly embracing Twitter in their upcoming iOS 5 operating system this fall. But it doesn't look like Apple is satisfied just yet. A new patent application that surfaced today indicates that Apple is working on a new iOS based social networking app that will use a few new methods for matching people up. They include uniquely sharing data from your iOS device as well as sharing location data on several levels. The app could identify where you currently are, like a club, but also inform others where you've been such as Paris, New York or events like Macworld or Apple's WWDC so as to provide potential new friends with an ice-breaker for conversation. Apple's proposed app is an odd entry and one that appears to only represent a single part within a larger app framework for a future more complete social networking app. For now, it's interesting but half baked.
On June 16, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a newly advanced halogen-free flame retardant material that is likely to be integrated into the manufacturing of Apple products like keyboards, mice, iPods, the iPad, cabling and more. Apple's invention provides for a halogen free resin composition that includes at least one thermoplastic polymer, an inorganic filler and a flame retardant additive that is described as being "self-fire extinguishable."
A new patent application from Apple this morning reveals that they began working on new security features for "Find My iPhone" shortly after the first iteration was revealed back in 2009. The next generation security features are noted as being proactive in nature. The user will be able to preselect certain files to be protected in the event their device is lost or stolen and introduces ways of securely scrambling information instead of wiping it out to make retrieval easier. Other interesting features are also being considered and are covered in today's report.
While Apple's "iTunes Live" and "FaceTime" Trademarks get published in the US, Apple Resurrects the Mighty "Pod" in Europe
On June 15, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's "iTunes Live" and "FaceTime" trademarks into their Official Gazette. Usually within 30 days of this publication, the trademarks are officially registered. Apple's original video conferencing application called "iChat" was recently reinvented under the branding of "FaceTime" which also covers "FaceTime for Mac." On another trademark front today, we see that Apple has decided to resurrect their "Pod" trademark in Europe which was recently noted as having been abandoned in Canada. Whether the abandonment of the Pod trademark was strategic or a blunder is unknown at this time – but it's clear that the mighty "Pod" is back in play.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 15 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our third and final granted patent report of the day we cover the technology behind Apple's advanced strobe light system which embeds important information into photos that could later assist users deblur photos when editing. Other patents include the cosmetic switch assemblies for iOS devices like the iPhone and a Japanese acquired patent relating to telephony. Whether the technology is restricted to the Japanese market is unknown at this time. Report Updated
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 15 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In today's second granted patent report we cover Apple's technology that's behind the Nike+iPod sensors and antennas in addition to a patent covering Apple's methods for gift card customization. The patent also covers an iTunes Customized Gift Card Kiosk which has yet to surface in the marketplace.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 15 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our first report of the day, we cover Apple's patents relating to Light Transmissive & Ambient Light Display technology as well as Apple's latest design patent win for MagSafe.
After a long series of patent infringement lawsuits that began in 2009 and continued with many twists and turns along the way, Nokia has emerged the victor by signing a patent licensing agreement with Apple. The agreement will result in settlement of all patent litigation between the companies, including the withdrawal by Nokia and Apple of their respective complaints to the US International Trade Commission. This will certainly be the tech story of the day.
On June 13, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark applications for "Mission Control" and "Launchpad." Apple's trademarks represent two of the higher profiled features that are coming to "Lion," Apple's upgraded operating system due this fall. Additionally, China's Patent and Trademark Office has published two design patents covering Apple's retail packaging for the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle. Apple has the most elaborate retail packaging for mobile devices in the computer industry.
Being that Steve Jobs is a big Bob Dylan fan, I thought it only appropriate to begin this special report on Apple's iCloud with a lyrical line from a Dylan song that states "It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls - for the times they are a-changin'." While it may be old, it's always true: Change is inevitable. Politicians use this catch phrase every four years and somehow it never gets old with each new generation. When we think of the coming cloud we think that it's new – but it's not. It used to be called Network Computing and thin clients were called NC's. That was a term that drove naysayers crazy. According to them, it was never going to happen. Well, with a fresh coat of paint and new razzle-dazzle marketing lingo, we see that it's back and here to stay. Technology has finally caught up with the vision that Steve Jobs harbored since the mid nineties and today's report will fast track you through some of its history. There's a reason why Apple's iCloud will be fundamentally superior: it's been in the works for well over a decade.
On June 9, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their intentions of including a new and convenient app Movie app for the iPhone. The new app will include a convenient link to their already established iTunes Music Trailers page so as to help you decide on which movie to see while providing you with a convenient one-click movie ticket purchasing option. It's also tied into the iPhone's calendar so that it could remind you of previous engagements and/or tight schedules. This app is likely to be associated with many next generation apps associated with Apple's forthcoming iWallet. This will definitely be a great little app that all movie goers will appreciate.
On June 9, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for playlist creation in iTunes. Instead of playlists being presented in text form, Apple is proposing the organization of your playlists into searchable Mosaic Icons that could be set in various grid arrangements of your choosing. New navigational controls associated with the new iTune playlist icons will allow users to quickly navigate or browse through the items in the list without having to open a new view. To allow for this new form of graphical playlist design, Apple will have to either redesign iTunes or recreate a new Summary iTunes tab within iTunes that could present pages of your new playlists that are in mosaic icon form. Apple's proposed icon system could also be technically applied to folders in a typical computer directory structure containing subfolders.
On June 8, 2011, the European Patent & Trademark Office published two of Apple's trademark applications for "iPod." The trademark applications, which are not classified as renewals, cover 44 out of a total of 45 International Classes. That's even a first for Apple. Yet the real question may be, why?