Apple's Patents for Smart Connector, AirPods and GarageBand's 'Live Loops' GUI Surface at U.S. Patent Office
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of patent applications from Apple that provide details behind the iPad's Smart Keyboard's Smart Connector; GarageBand's 'Live Loops' GUI; and the patent likely behind AirPods that provides for a hybrid system to listen to music and listen to crystal clear phone calls. All three patents can be considered fulfilled.
We begin with the patent behind Apple's Smart Keyboard's Smart Connector that is, according to Apple, "highly corrosion resistant, requires a small amount of real estate and is aesthetically pleasing." Though the product is made to appear seemingly simple, there's of course a deep complexity beneath the surface. If you enjoy drilling down into the engineering team's mindset – then you could check out all the glory here.
The Smart Keyboard's Smart Connector
The AirPod's Hybrid Capabilities
One of the reviews of Apple's AirPod's by the Soundguys stated that "These are probably the clearest phone calls I've ever taken on Bluetooth 'buds." While some may not agree with that, the fact is that listening to music is one mode of operation while making phone calls is yet another mode. Apple's AirPods can seamlessly switch between modes with this hybrid design.
Apple's patent FIG. 18 is an illustration of an in-ear speaker that is configured as a hybrid transparency system; FIG. 20 is a block diagram of the in-ear speaker configured as a hybrid transparency system.
Apple notes in their application that "Generally there are two mutually exclusive types of insertable in-ear speakers, which are as follows: (i) an insertable in-ear speaker that fully seals an ear canal (hereinafter "sealable insertable in-ear speakers"); and (ii) an insertable in-ear speaker that is intentionally designed to allow some sounds from the ambient environment to leak into the user's ear canal during use (hereinafter "leaky insertable in-ear speakers"). Leaky insertable in-ear speakers provide better audio transparency than sealable insertable in-ear speakers. Nevertheless, sounds from the ambient environment may be unwanted to a user. To avoid this scenario, sealable insertable in-ear speakers may be used by the user. Sealable insertable in-ear speakers have some shortcomings. Users of these types of in-ear speakers can be subjected to unwanted sounds resulting from an occlusion effect (OE) during use (e.g., during telephone calls, while running, etc.). Also, a sealable insertable in-ear speaker can prevent its user from perceiving sounds from the ambient environment. So Apple invented a hybrid system.
To learn more about the technical aspects behind this invention, check out Apple's patent application titled "In-Ear Speaker Hybrid Audio Transparency System." The patent was filed approximately eight months prior to Apple's AirPods being introduced during the iPhone 7 keynote.
The inventor is listed as Scott Grinker who is an Acoustic Design Engineer at Apple. His background was design leader at Shure Inc.
GarageBand's 'Live Loops' GUI Patent
From the creators of Emagic and Apple's Logic Pro comes their latest interface for GarageBand as noted below that comes to life today in patent form. Apple notes in their filing that "The computing device can present a grid of cells, where each cell represents a music segment. The cells can be configured to playback the music segment once or playback the music segment in a repeating loop.
The user can select (e.g., touch) one or more cells in the grid to cause the corresponding music segment to play. While playing selected cells, the user can provide input selecting various musical effects to apply to the playing music. The user can record a dynamically selected sequence of cells and musical effects to create an original musical product."
Patent Figure Interface
To learn more about this application, check out Apple patent application here.
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