Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the first patents to surface from the engineers at LuxVue, a micro LED Company that Apple acquired back in May 2014. LuxVue is a specialist in micro-LED screen technologies. Venture Capitalist John Doer of KPCB once described LuxVue's technology as a "technical breakthrough in displays."
Today's invention could be used in various future displays including "a television, tablet, phone, laptop, computer monitor, kiosk, digital camera, handheld game console, media display, ebook display, or large area signage display."
At present it's unknown exactly what project Apple has in mind for this company's technology. However, in June Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple's Supply Chain says Apple is Developing Micro LED Panels for a Future Apple Watch." In that report we also noted a new LED based patent from Apple relating to the use of LED's in future wearable devices.
It's also known that LED display may have a role to play in a future VR or video headset that Apple may be working on.
An EETimes report published last June noted that "The high-brightness, enhanced-vision systems such as head-up and head-mounted displays can improve safety and performance in fields such as aeronautics and automotive, where the displays allow pilots and drivers to receive key navigation data and information in their line of sight, " as noted below.
Today's patent filing notes that "One type of LED is an organic light emitting diode (OLED) in which the emissive layer of the diode is formed of an organic compound. One advantage of OLEDs is the ability to print the organic emissive layer on flexible substrates. OLEDs have been integrated into thin, flexible displays and are often used to make the displays for portable electronic devices such as mobile phones and digital cameras."
The latter application digital cameras is interesting because earlier today we posted a patent report about Apple's new 3D camera system coming to the iPhone 7. The Apple/PrimeSense patent described "an illumination assembly in which a light source, such as a laser diode or LED, transilluminates a transparency with optical radiation so as to project a pattern onto the object. An image capture assembly captures an image of the pattern that is projected onto the object, and a processor processes the image so as to reconstruct a three-dimensional (3D) map of the object."
So this new LED related patent could very well be implemented in Apple's new 3D camera system, an application LuxVue notes as one of the applications.
Apple's patent FIG. 19 noted below is a schematic illustration of a display system using LED technology.
Apple patent application 20160197232 was filed in Q3 2015. Because Apple's patent covers so many possible products it's impossible to figure out what patent figures or descriptions to present in this report. Click here to review Apple's patent filing. One of the inventors noted in the filing is Kelly McGroddy who was Director of LED Technology at LuxVue.
Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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