On September 16 Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple's Face ID has been in the work for many Years and its Debut fulfills many In-Depth Camera Patents." Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published another couple of granted patents that cover Apple's 3D scanner that's included in the camera projector found in the new iPhone X smartphone.
Apple's newly granted patent 9,784,838 titled "Compact scanner with gimbaled optics" covers their invention relating to methods and devices for projection and capture of optical radiation, and particularly to compact optical scanners.
Apple's patent FIG. 4 is a schematic, pictorial illustration of an optical scanning device.
In the patents showcased in the September 16 report literally showed the use of project dots on the subjects like Apple used in their own presentation when introducing the iPhone X. In this patent that covers the same subject matter of a 3D mapping device, they use the term "Pulses of light." It's the very same Israeli team who has worked on all of Apple's 3D depth mapping camera technology.
It's the patent claims that places this device into microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) category used in miniature or compact devices like a smartphone. Patent claims are the priority of the invention.
With that said, Apple's patent does say that this system could also be used in a LIDAR system which is a much larger device which could technically be used on an autonomous vehicle such as the ones that Apple is reportedly using. But I repeat, it's not the focus of this invention.
Apple's second granted patent 9,784,558 covering gimbaled optics is titled "Sensing of mirror position using fringing fields." Apple's invention relates to monitoring the motion of rotating mechanical devices, and particularly of scanning micromirrors.
Apple's granted patent was originally filed in Q and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
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