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Apple Granted 51 Patents Today Covering Stackable Connectors and In-Air Depth Camera Gesturing to Control Apple TV

1 cover + stackable connector


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 51 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover in-air gesturing that could be used to control Apple TV and stackable connectors as noted in our cover graphic. MacBook Pro fans complained about the lack of ports and killing off MagSafe connectors. With Apple proposed invention now granted could offer future MacBook users with a next-gen version of MagSafe connector that is stackable allowing for more devices to be plugged in, reducing or eliminating the amount of dongles needed. We wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.


Granted Patent: Stackable, Magnetically-Retained Connector Interface


Apple's newly granted patent generally relates to stackable connectors that improve upon some current connector deficiencies. For example, a stackable connector interface with magnetic retention for electronic devices and accessories may allow power and data to be transferred between one or more stacked connectors and an electronic device.


According to Apple, the new stackable connector design could apply to a notebook, like the new MacBook that only has a single connector. This design would a great solution for the MacBook and allow for multiple connectors stacked on each other as noted in our cover graphic. The design could also support the single port of a future iPhone or iPad while Apple envisions the design extended to other future devices such as a holographic projection system as well as for a gaming device.


2 stackable connectors

Apple's patent FIGS. 3A and 3B noted above illustrate unmated and mated stackable connectors, respectively, of a base device, a first peripheral, a second peripheral and a third peripheral


Patently Apple covered this as a patent application in March 2016. Apple's granted patent 9,838,085 was originally filed in Q1 2016 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.


Granted Patent: Gray


Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to improved methods, apparatus and software for extracting information from depth maps, and particularly information regarding structures having fine dimensions.


Further, the patent covers a method for depth mapping, which includes receiving an image of a pattern of spots that has been projected onto a scene (like with Face ID), which includes a feature having a set of elongate appendages, which have respective transverse dimensions that are less than twice an average distance between the spots in the pattern that is projected onto the feature. The image is processed in order to segment and find a three-dimensional (3D) location of the feature. The spots appearing on the feature in the 3D location are connected in order to extract separate, respective contours of the appendages.

3 in-air gesturing patent

The method may include detecting gestures of the hand, and controlling an application running on a computer responsively to the gestures.


When the depth map is used as part of a 3D user interface, such as a gesture-based interface for a computer or entertainment console, the interface will respond only to gross gestures of the arms, hands and body. It would be desirable to enable such systems to detect and respond to finger gestures at the same time, but without adding substantially to the hardware complexity and cost of the system.


Apple's granted patent 9,836,645 was originally filed in Q1 2015 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The patent's inventors are from Apple's Israeli team PrimeSense, who invented Face ID technology,


A second patent on the same topic of controlling an Apple TV-like interface controlled by gestures was also granted today under number 9,836,201 with FIGS. 10A and 10B illustrated below.


4 control tv with gestures

Apple's patent FIGS. 10A/B are schematic pictorial illustrations showing the hierarchical ZoomGrid.


The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today


5 Apple's Remaining Granted Patents for Dec 5  2017

14 Patent Notice Bar

Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Those using abusive language or behavior will result in being blacklisted on Disqus.




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