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Apple introduces us to the Wild World of Coded Magnets

1 - Apple Introduces us to the Wild World of Coded Magnets
Once in a while we're treated to a new Apple invention that virtually contains a new self-contained world of possibilities and vocabulary to enrich it. It comes out of the blue and feeds our need for meaty new technology brimming with potential. Today is such a day. This is such an invention. Apple's invention reveals a wild world of programmable magnetic devices, and more particularly, to security for computing devices and peripherals that may be provided by programmable magnets. And yet, it reveals so much more than that. Apple envisions this technology eventually working into iOS devices to produce wild haptic effects using Ferrofluids on touchscreens and virtual keyboards. It will also allow Apple's iOS to present light based points on the display as a way to guide a user through a process like a teacher. This is wild stuff folks and it only scratches the surface of what's to come. Grab a coffee, sit back and really enjoy one of the most fascinating patent applications to have surfaced in some time. Update 4 PM MST: Apple reveals inductive charging and/or other wireless charging using coded magnets coming to a new MacBook Dock in a secondary patent.  

 

Apple's Patent Background

 

Electronic devices are common in both home and work environments. Such devices often transmit data back and forth in order to operate or share information. In many cases, data transmission is unsecured or conventionally secured by methods that are easy to defeat. Physical security of certain items, such as computing devices, also may be desirable.

 

Magnetic structures may aid in securing physical access. For example, magnetic doors may prevent ingress by unauthorized persons. However, magnetic security is rarely applied to securing data or functionality of an electronic device. Likewise, magnetic security is rarely used to authenticate data transmissions. Further, most magnetically-implemented security is very basic. In the door example, above, a door may be magnetically sealed but access is rarely granted through the application of magnetic principles. Rather, magnetism is used to provide the actual physical security by keeping the door closed.

 

What are described herein are apparatuses, methods and systems for implementing various types of security through the use of correlated magnetic structures.

 

Key iPad and Stylus Example

 

Apple's invention is very complex and in order to understand where Apple's invention could be implemented, we think it best that we first present you with Apple's primary product implementation example first, rather than towards the end of our report as is presented in Apple's patent application.

 

Data Security Employing Correlated or Coded Magnets

 

Apple's patent FIGS. 10 and 11 shown below illustrate embodiments that may employ correlated magnets for purposes of data security. A stylus may have a coded magnet formed in or on a portion thereof, such as at or behind the tip of the stylus. A dock, port or other receptacle (collectively herein, a "port") also may have a correlated magnet formed in a portion thereof that interacts with the stylus. For example, the inner wall of the receptacle of the port may be a correlated magnet or have a correlated magnet underlie the wall.

 

Apple states that port 1010 may be connect to a computing device 1020 such as an iPad as noted above, though the invention could equally be applied to an iPhone, MacBook, iMac and other future devices.

 

In the embodiment of FIG. 10, data received from the stylus is transmitted to the iPad across a cable (1030) or other link. In order to couple to the port (1010), the stylus generally physically contacts the dock (or receptacle). In the embodiment of FIG. 10, however, the correlated magnetic structure of the port may repulse any stylus (1000) lacking a complementary correlated magnetic pattern. Thus, only those styli previously paired or otherwise authorized with the port may be accepted for data transfer. As yet another option, the mismatch of correlated magnetic structures may be sensed but the force generated may be relatively weak. This may permit the stylus to physically dock but still prevent data transfer through the port.

 

In some embodiments, the port, stylus or both may have their correlated magnetic structure formed by electromagnetic maxels (explained below). In such embodiments, one or both of the correlated magnetic structures could be reprogrammed to complement the other. Thus, styli and ports may be paired dynamically.

 

3 - example 1, securely connecting a stylus to iPad via correlated magnetic structures

 

Apple's patent FIG. 1 shown belos depicts a coded magnetic structure made from a four-by-four grid of maxels; patent FIG. 2 depicts a cord having coded magnetic structures formed thereon; patent FIG. 3 depicts multiple cords having coded magnetic structures, magnetically locked to one another to form a strip.

 

2 - patent figures from Apple's patent on coded magnets

 

What's a Maxel?

  

Apple's patent uses this term often and so, here's there definition of a Maxel is. Apple's FIG. 1 shows an example coded magnet 100 having a four-by-four grid, with each portion of the grid being occupied by a separate magnetic element. The outer portion 102 of the coded magnet may include magnetic elements having their south poles facing in a common direction, such as toward the viewer with respect to FIG. 1. The center two-by-two portion 104 of the coded magnet may contain magnetic elements with their north poles facing toward the viewer with respect to FIG. 1. In this example, the magnetic elements of the coded magnet include 12 magnets presenting their south poles (e.g., negative polarities) toward an exposed surface ringing four magnets presenting their north poles (e.g., positive polarities) toward the same exposed surface. The constituent magnetic elements may be referred to herein as "maxels."

 

Advanced MagSafe Connector

 

The primary magnetically attached connector in this application is noted as being MagSafe, though be it, a more advanced version of it as is described in the patent application. Conceptually, this further supports Apple's 2011 granted patent for a future iPad with a MagSafe port

   

Wireless Implementation

 

Apple's patent FIG. 11 depicts a wireless implementation of the foregoing, where the correlated magnetic structure 1100 is built into the iPad (or other computing device). Here, the change in magnetic fields may be sensed by a magnetic sensor as a properly-configured stylus approaches the correlated magnetic structure in the iPad. If the magnetic field changes in a preauthorized manner or reaches a preauthorized condition, data transfer between stylus and computing device may be permitted.

 

4 - example 2, securely connecting a stylus to iPad via correlated magnetic structures
 

Apple's driving fascination with smart pens and applications could be clearly seen in our related smart pen archives.

 

Securely Pairing Devices Could Apply to Other Peripherals

 

It should be appreciated that any peripheral may be securely paired to operate with a particular computing device in accordance with the foregoing description. Input/output devices, displays, mobile phones, other computing devices and the like may all employ correlated magnet structures to securely identify each other in order to permit data transmissions.

 

Apple Envisions Secure Magnetic Solutions for Keys & Access Cards

 

Apple's invention of enhanced security via magnetic structures could go far beyond traditional computing devices. While Apple covers many possible future applications for their invention, one of the most detailed pertains to advancing physical keys. Apple notes that a correlated magnetic lock may be more difficult to pick or open in an unauthorized fashion, as the tumblers/maxels/physical elements may not be directly manipulable.

 

According to Apple, a portion of a key, such as the tip, may be formed as a pattern of maxels to create the aforementioned correlated magnetic structure. The key may, or may not, include physical projections or protrusions. In some embodiments, the tip and shaft of the key may be smooth. Smooth keys may be cylindrical, square, or rectangular in cross-section, or may have any other desired cross-sectional shape.

 

A lock may be designed to operate with a correlated magnetic key. The interior of the lock may include a correlated magnetic structure that interacts with the correlated magnetic structure of the key. For example, when an appropriately-configured key is inserted into the proper lock, the maxels of the key may attract and/or repulse certain maxels within the lock, thereby physically moving portions of the lock. This may magnetically simulate the manner in which the physical protrusions of a key interact with tumblers in a standard lock to grant access.

 

It should be appreciated that a correlated magnetic lock may operate with multiple correlated magnetic keys, even if those keys have different correlated magnetic structures (e.g., different maxel patterns, strengths and the like). The lock may be set up to provide differing levels of access, depending on which key is used with the lock. As one example, a first key may open only one drawer when placed into a correlated magnetic lock, while a second key with a different correlated magnetic structure may open multiple or different drawers by manipulating the maxels of the lock in a second fashion.

 

Keys (and locks) designed according to the principles described herein may be indistinguishable from one another, since interaction between key and lock does not necessarily depend on the physical properties of the key. Thus, keys may be made to look alike in order to further enhance security.

 

Access cards may likewise incorporate coded magnets to permit or deny entry. A user's access card may have a unique magnetic signature that may be recognized by a card reader, which may allow or deny entry based on that signature. In 2010, Apple has another team workining on an NFC based key and/or key card solution.

 

Magnetic ID Tags

 

The noted examples above relating to keys and access cards are noted as being under the category of magnetic ID Tags. This category may also cover another application relating to a museum.

 

As one example, a museum may include multiple coded magnets at or near each exhibit; each coded magnet may generate a unique magnetic field. As a visitor approaches the exhibit, the user's electronic device may detect the magnetic field and compare it to a master database downloaded onto the device upon entering the museum. The device may match the magnetic field to an entry in the database and retrieve information from the database associated with the field. The electronic device may display this information to the visitor, thus allowing him or her to appreciate the exhibit without requiring him or her to dock the device to a connector or receive any broadcast. This process may be applied in other venues, as well.

 

This particular application appears to one that Apple is actively trying to find a solution for. Other patent applications proving that out are found in our reports posted in June and July2011 which cover infrared technology and augmented reality via advanced smart transparent displays. We learned how Steve Jobs set up his research teams to compete with one another in Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs and presented that in our November 2011 report titled "Steve Jobs Secret Meetingto explore an iPod Phone is Revealing." This practice is also laid out in Adam Lashinsky's book titled "The secrets Apple Keeps." Here's one example noted in a recent CNNMoney article:

 

"It is, in the words of a former employee, "the ultimate need‑to‑know culture." Teams are purposely kept apart, sometimes because they are unknowingly competing against one another, but more often because the Apple way is to mind one's own business."

 

Possible Future Applications

 

Thermal Management Application: Apple states that many electronic devices in use today have dedicated airflow paths to move air masses to and/or through particular areas for cooling. Typically, these paths are static and passive as they direct however much airflow is provided to them and cannot change the flow paths. Apple's thinks that could all change in respect to future Macs and or a TV using a coded magnet system that will provide "active valving" thermal management.

 

In one embodiment, coded magnets may be used to open or close louvers in the airflow paths, thus shutting off and/or redirecting air within the electronic device enclosure. The coded magnets may be electromagnetically programmed to open and/or close louvers as necessary to route air from a fan to a particular portion of the device enclosure. For example, the outputs of various thermal sensors may be used to determine where more airflow is necessary to cool a hot internal element or area, and the coded magnets may be reprogrammed on the fly to attract and/or repulse the louvers to direct the airflow accordingly. In some embodiments, the airflow ducts, louvers and magnets may be formed in a separate layer so that the louvers may move freely without impacting other internal components.

 

As still another option, the foregoing may be applied to magnetically lower louvers across exhaust and/or air intake ports when no or minimal cooling is needed. Likewise, the louvers may be magnetically raised by the electromagnetic coded magnets when air intake and/or exhaust is desired. Further, because the coded magnets may be electromagnetically reprogrammed in real-time, the distance to which the louvers open (and thus the amount of air let in or exhausted) may likewise be controlled. Whether this will work independently or in conjunction with Apple's proposed "Ionic Wind Generator Cooling System," is unknown at this time.

 

Another twist relating to thermal management is presented in Apple's patent that deals with the use of correlated magnets in conjunction with a ferrofluid for a cooling system. According to Apple, as a ferrofluid is heated, its magnetic qualities decrease (e.g., it becomes less attracted to a magnet). Thus, a magnet near an element to be cooled will attract ferrofluid which will be heated by the element, thereby becoming less magnetically sensitive. The heated ferrofluid will flow away from the magnet and be replaced by cool ferrofluid. This cycle may continue indefinitely.

 

By using a dynamically programmable correlated magnet (e.g., one with electromagnetic maxels), the magnetic attraction and/or repulsion of ferrofluid to hot spots or elements within an electronic device may be enhanced. Thus, as certain areas or element heat up, more ferrofluid may be diverted to that area to enhance cooling. Is that cool or what!

 

Battery Safety Application: Apple points to another application for incorporating correlated magnets to detect when a lithium-ion polymer battery swells. As these types of batteries age and are used, they may thicken and/or warp. In electronic device enclosures with strict tolerances, this may lead to a risk of fire if the internals of the battery are punctured due to battery motion, thickening, warping and so on. A correlated magnet pair (one on the battery and one nearby) may be used to sense the position of the battery. The correlated magnet not on the battery may detect a change in the magnetic field strength and/or polarity as the battery swells and the correlated magnet thereon moves accordingly. If this change is sensed, the electronic device may disable the battery. As yet another option, as the field strength of the correlated magnet increases – it may flip a magnetic switch that disables the battery.

 

Prevent accidental System Shutdown: Apple thinks that future Macs may employ correlated magnets to enable and disable power buttons. Many users accidentally press the power buttons of their electronic devices when using them, which may lead to a loss of data or interruption of use when the device is on. This may be avoided through the use of at least one correlated magnet.

 

As an example, presume an electromagnetic correlated magnet is located beneath a metal or magnetic power button. The correlated magnet may be off until the device is turned on via the button, at which point the electromagnetic maxels of the correlated magnet are activated. At this point, the correlated magnet may repulse the power button and thus prevent it from being pushed in, which in turn prevents the user from accidentally powering down the device. The correlated magnet may stay powered on until a certain condition is met. One example of such a condition is that the user ceases to interact with the device in any fashion for a minimum time. Another is that the device fails to provide any output for a minimum time.

 

Laptop Security Latch:Another embodiment may place multiple coded magnets in the clutch (e.g., hinge) of a MacBook or similar device. One coded magnet may be in the portion of the clutch engaged with the base of the laptop and one on the clutch portion engaged with the top of the laptop. The magnets may be coded to rotationally repulse one another until a certain rotational alignment is achieved, at which point the magnets may be coded to attract one another. In this fashion, the circular coded magnets may act as a detent to hold the device top open in a particular position with respect to the device base. The coded magnets may have multiple such virtual detents to permit a user a range of options for opening and/or closing the device. Apple won a patent relating to a MacBook security latch in October 2011.

 

Implementing Ferrofluids may Product Wild Haptic Effects

 

As we noted in the "Thermal Management Application" section above, ferrofluids could be used for a cooling system. But there are other fascinating applications. Apple states that various embodiments mayemploy coded magnets with ferrofluids to achieve a variety of effects. Ferrofluids are generally liquids that become strongly polarized in the presence of a magnetic field. Ferrofluids may thus be attracted and repulsed by magnetic fields.

 

Haptics Relating to iOS Touchscreens: Certain embodiments may employ coded magnets to attract or repulse ferrofluids to place ferrofluids in a particular place at a particular time. As one example, a coded magnet may be activated when a proximity sensor detects a finger approaching a touchpad or other surface capable of detecting a touch. (The exact mechanics of how the surface detects the touch are irrelevant; the present disclosure is intended to encompass capacitive sensing, IR sensing, resistive sensing and so on.) As the finger (or other object) approaches the surface, the proximity sensor's output may activate a coded magnet beneath the portion of the surface about to be impacted. This coded magnet may draw ferrofluid to it, resulting in an upper portion of the surface rising or bulging. In this manner, the touch-sensitive surface may provide visual and/or haptic feedback indicating the touch has been sensed. Haptic feedback may be achieved because the feel of touching the ferrofluid-filled bulge would be different than touching the flat touch-sensitive surface. Further, it should be appreciated that the sensing algorithms and/or capabilities of the surface may be adjusted to account for the pool of ferrofluid.

 

Haptics Relating to Virtual Keyboards:Yet another embodiment may apply the foregoing principles to a touch-sensitive keyboard with a flat surface. Keys may be inflated by attracting ferrofluid to the appropriate key just before or as the key is touched. In such an embodiment, a maxel may be located beneath each key with the maxels beneath all keys (and, possibly, other areas of the keyboard) forming the coded magnet. It should be appreciated that the coded magnet underlying the keyboard may be dynamically programmed to direct ferrofluid where necessary and repulse ferrofluid from other areas. Thus, upon sensing an imminent touch, the polarities of more maxels than merely the one underlying the key to be touched may change. As one example, the maxels may change polarities in order to drive ferrofluid beneath the key in question, then changed again to drive ferrofluid out from beneath any key other than the one about to be touched.

 

Insofar as ferrofluids are generally opaque, certain embodiments may employ coded magnets to attract or repulse ferrofluids beneath or within an input or output device to alter the translucence of the device. For example, a certain amount of ferrofluid may be drawn beneath a transparent surface with a backlight. The ferrofluid may be repulsed from a particular point beneath that surface but maintained in all other areas, thereby creating a lighter point on the surface to indicate where a user should touch or interact with the device. Is that wild or what!

 

MacBook Dock: Inductive Charging

 

Update 4:02 PM MST: In a secondary patent application filing related to coded magnetics we find something interesting. In patent FIG. 9 of this second filing, Apple illustrates a docking port for a MacBook (152). The port and MacBook may each be enabled to perform inductive battery charging or other wireless charging, in some embodiments.

 

Extra - coded magnets could be used for inductive or wireless charging


The docking port includes multiple coded magnets 154, 162 that may correspond with coded magnets 164 of the MacBook. The coded magnets 154 and 162 may secure the MacBook in place. Of course, this is a patent concept and so the graphic design of the dock is minimal. Any Macbook Dock that Apple actually designs will no doubt be much cooler. This is just to show the concept, not the actual design.

 

Background on Connectors, Coded Magnets and a 3D Magnetic Field

 

Now that you've seen some of the phenomenal list of possible applications for this technology, many of you may want to know about some of the nuts and bolts of the system. In this section we'll focus on connectors, coded magnets and 3D Magnet Fields.

 

Connectors: Apple's invention discusses connectors and methods of coupling electronic devices and cables. In one embodiment a cable is provided having a coupler with dynamic pins. The coupler may have a magnetic code used to identify the connector and the pins may be controlled to extend a distance to provide a desired coupling. Thus, a single connector may be used for multiple different devices.

 

In some embodiments, the pins may be recessed within the connector so that the connector presents a smooth outer surface. The pins may be extended outwardly magnetically when approaching the port. This may help prevent the pins from being damaged when not coupled. Additionally, in some embodiments, the orientation of the connector may be adjusted to comply with the orientation of its mate. This may allow for a universally adaptable connector.

 

In one embodiment, a port or other connectors may be completely sealed, thus allowing for a device housing to be hermetically sealed. Correlated magnets may be used to properly orient/position the connectors and communications may be conducted wirelessly (e.g., via light, radio frequency, and so forth).

 

Coded Magnets: "Correlated magnets" or "coded magnets" are magnetic structures formed of multiple individual magnetic elements, each of which has both a north and a south pole. The individual magnetic elements may vary in terms of which pole faces a surface of a coded magnet. Thus, a single coded magnet may have multiple magnetic poles on a single surface, and these multiple magnetic poles may cooperate to form a pattern of north and south poles.

 

It should be appreciated that the overall magnetic field of the coded magnet will depend on the arrangement of the constituent magnetic elements. Certain correlated magnets may exert a repulsive force at a first distance against an external magnetic or ferrous surface, but an attractive force at a second distance. The exact distances at which a coded magnet may be magnetically attractive or repulsive generally depend on the arrangement and strength of each individual maxel. By properly positioning maxels on a coded magnet surface, a force curve having particular attractive and repulsive strengths at certain distances may be created. It should likewise be noted that the force curve may switch between attraction and repulsion more than once as the separation distance between the coded magnet and magnetic surface increases or decreases.

 

3D Magnetic Field:Generally, the coding of a correlated magnetic surface (e.g., the placement of maxels having particular field strengths and polarities) creates a particular two-dimensional pattern on the surface and thus a three-dimensional magnetic field. The three-dimensional magnetic field may serve to define the aforementioned force curve, presuming that the external magnetic or ferrous surface has a uniform magnetic field.

 

Further, the two-dimensional pattern of the coded magnetic surface generally has a complement or mirror. This complement is the reversed maxel pattern of the coded magnetic surface. Thus, a complementary coded magnetic surface may be defined and created for any single coded magnetic surface. A coded magnetic surface and its complement are generally attractive across any reasonable distance, although as the separation distance increases the attraction attenuates. With respect to a uniform external magnetic or ferrous surface, the force curve of a complementary coded magnet is the inverse of the original coded magnet's force curve. The force curve between two coded magnets may be varied by misaligning pairs of magnets, magnet strengths and the like, yielding the ability to create highly variable and thus tailorable, force curves.

Extra 3D space, Maxel
Since the maxel pattern of a coded magnet varies in two dimensions, rotational realignment of an external magnetic surface (including a complementary coded magnet) may relatively easily disengage the coded magnet from the external magnetic surface. The exact force required to rotationally disengage two coded magnets, or a coded magnet and a uniformly charged external surface, may be much less than the force required to pull the two apart. This is because rotational misalignment likewise misaligns the maxels, thereby changing the overall magnetic interaction between the two magnets.

 

Programmed and Reprogrammed Dynamically

 

Further, it should be appreciated that coded magnets may be programmed or reprogrammed dynamically by using one or more electromagnetic maxels to form the coded surface pattern. As current is applied to the electromagnetic maxels they will produce a magnetic field. When no voltage is applied, these maxels would be magnetically inert. When the input current is reversed, the polarity of the maxels likewise reverses. Thus, the coding of the coded magnet may be changed through application of electricity.

 

Further, any single electromagnetic maxel yields many possible codings presuming all other maxels remain constant: a first coding for the coded magnetic surface when the electromagnetic maxel is attractive, a second when the current is reversed and the electromagnetic maxel is repulsive, and a third when no current is applied and the electromagnetic maxel is neutral. By varying the position of the maxel on the coded magnet and/or the current supplied to the maxel, even more variations may be obtained.

 

Given a coded magnet having a five-by-five maxel array (for example), the number of possible codings if all maxels are electromagnets, held in a fixed position and supplied with a fixed current is 3.sup.25 or 847,288,609,443 possible codes at any given moment. Since the coding of the surface may be adjusted dynamically, certain embodiments discussed herein may change their magnetic fields on the fly and thus their force curves. Specific implementations of this concept are discussed herein, although those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that variations and alternate embodiments will be apparent upon reading this disclosure in its entirety.

 

Patent Credits and Some Closing Thoughts

 

Interestingly, Apple's patent applicationwas only filed in July 2011 by inventors Brett Bilbrey, Aleksandar Pance, Peter Arnold, David Simon, Jean Lee, Michael Hillman, Gregory Tice, Vijay Iyer and Bradley Spare.

 

In my view, this is what I call a foundational patent. It's a wide overview of a new technology front being opened that will later on be broken down and defined in other single vision patents using this technology. In fact, a single vision patent has already rolled out. In December 2011 we posted a report titled "The iPad's Smart Cover Patent has insightfully come to Light." In that report, we pointed to how Apple has placed a magnet under the iPad's display that works in conjunction with a magnet in the actual iPad cover. This is how the iPad is put into hybernation and later awakened when unfolding the iPad cover. It's quite ingenious, really. This makes the programming of magnets discussed in this patent come to life (Update Feb 8, 2011: also see iFixit's iPad 2 Smart Cover teardown mentioning the magnets and this video on correlated magnets) . So the technology presented in Apple's latest patent application, isn't theoretical: it's a proven fact. The question now is: What will Apple do next? Hopefully the clues presented in today's report will work into Apple's products over the coming years. For now, however, I think we could say that it sure sounds promising on so many levels.

 

Other Noteworthy Patent Applications Published Today

 

One

According to a recent Bloomberg Businessweek report, Apple is the world’s largest buyer of NAND flash memory, accounting for about 23 percent of consumption last quarter. So it might be of interest to some that Apple has filed six new NAND Flash related patents. Here are the patent numbers that are temporarily linked to the patents. The temporary links are only valid for 24-48 hours:  20120023348, 20120023347, 20120023346, 20120023365, 20120023356 and finally 20120023351.

 

Two

Apple dropped their white polycarbonate plastic MacBook back in July 2011. So a new patent applications published today is a little hard to take seriously. Patent application 20120021196 titled "Smooth Composite Structure," discusses a future MacBook that could be formed out of carbon/epoxy. The filing was made in 2010 before Apple made the decision to pull the plug on the plastic MacBook. So it's a little hard to see Apple returning to plastic anytime soon. Then again, you never know, Apple may surprise us. If you want to take a look at the patent for yourself, then here's a temporary link that'll take you there. But remember, temporary links are only valid for 24-48 hours.   

 

Three

A remote control patent that was published today by the USPTO is simply an update to an old 2007 patent that relates to one published in 2005. Some have mistakenly reported it as a new patent application, which it isn't. Here's a temporary link to the patent for you to check out for yourself. The link is only valid for 24-48 hours. The information pointing to this being an older patent could be found under the area titled "Relationship to other Applications."

 

Four

The last patent of the day to note, is one that credits the late, great Steve Jobs as one of the inventors of the OS X Dock that magnifies an icon when you mouse over it. Patent applications 20120023427 and 20120023434 have a history dating back to 1999. Here's a temporary link to one of the patent applications if you wish to check it out for yourself. The temporary link is only valid for 24-48 hours: Have I mentioned that enough in this section - ha! Cheers.  

 

Notice: Patently Apple presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. Revelations found in patent applications shouldn't be interpreted as rumor or fast-tracked according to rumor timetables. Apple's patent applications have provided the Mac community with a clear heads-up on some of Apple's greatest product trends including the iPod, iPhone, iPad, iOS cameras, LED displays, iCloud services for iTunes and more. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.

 

TX - Steve Jobs - Think Different Forevermore

 

 

Here are a Few Great Sites covering our Original Report

 

MacSurfer, Wired Twitter, MacTalk Australia, Twitter, Facebook, Houston Chronicle – Hearst Communications, University of Tennessee, Sci Tech Watch, Reddit, Apple Investor News, Google Reader, Macnews, iPhone World Canada, MarketWatch, MacDailyNews, Melamorsicata Italy, iPadItalia Italy, AppleZein Italy, Business InsiderMacTrast, Macgasm, AppleWeblog Spanish, iPhones Russia, PCMag.com, ZDNet, CNET, derStandard Austria, Macity Italy, Stuff TVCult of Mac, BGRThe Verge, Engadget, Techmeme, MyApple Poland, PC Authority Australia, CRN, Engadget – Spain, MobiFrance, Product Reviews, Topsy Cyber-Connections, 2dayBlog, Macworld Ven Spanish, Geeky Gadgets, and more.

 

Note: The sites that we link to above offer you an avenue to make your comments about this report in other languages. These great community sites also provide our guests with varying takes on Apple's latest invention. Whether they're pro or con, you may find them to be interesting, fun or feisty. If you have the time, join in!

 

  

Comments

cogboy

yes, but they'll make it seem all warm and down home-y like your grandma would approve... Mayberry R.F.I.D.

Rob

Mark I think everyone will have RFID tags instead. 8-)
Gattica style.

Mark R Lindsey

Soon our employers will be making us wear magnetically programmed clothing.

The door to the building suck in employees, making it impossible for them to leave until the boss says so, through the new iControl iphone app.

Of course, it will be sold on the basis of its anti-terrorism advantages. The programmed magnetic doors will also repel intruders.

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