Apple granted their Fifth Patent on Integrating Gas and other Environmental Sensors into Future iDevices and Macs
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 56 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's fifth granted patent for "Electronic devices with environmental sensors" since 2015. Last month Patently Apple covered a couple of Apple's inventions relating to next-gen health sensors for iOS devices and the Mac that could save your life by detecting invisible deadly gasses.
Today Apple was granted patent 10,209,106, one of Apple's first patents relating to environmental sensors that could be added to future iDevices and Macs. The sensors include those being able to sense deadly gas, surrounding temperature, humidity smoke and more.
The emphasis and priority found in Apple's granted patent, and more specifically found in their patent-claims, is without a doubt the gas sensor. Apple's patent claim #18 states in part, "a gas sensor attached to the printed circuit that is configured to measure a concentration of a gas, wherein the gas comprises a gas selected from the group consisting of: carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, alcohol vapor, propane, ozone, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, benzene, methane, hydrogen, and oxygen."
Apple notes that the new sensors could be positioned in the iPhone's speaker or microphone cavities as noted in their patent FIG. 1 below.
Apple's invention could apply to future products that Apple lists as follows:
"Cellular telephones, media players, other handheld portable devices, somewhat smaller portable devices such as wrist-watch devices, pendant devices, or other wearable or miniature devices, gaming equipment, tablet computers, notebook computers, desktop computers, televisions, computer monitors, computers integrated into computer displays, or other electronic equipment."
Apple's patent FIG. 1 above is a perspective view of an illustrative electronic device with an environmental sensor; FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional side view of an illustrative environmental sensor having a microphone sensor data processing circuit that processes microphone sensor data from a stand-alone microphone and having a gas sensor data processing circuit that processes gas sensor data from a stand-alone gas sensor in accordance with an embodiment.
Apple's granted patent was originally filed in Q4 2017 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Apple's first granted patent for environmental sensors for electronic sensors describes "the microphone and the gas sensor are formed from a common semiconductor die." That is not listed in Apple's latest granted patent.
For the record, Apple has been working on this project for some time now. Here are other granted patents on the subject of environmental sensors:
April 2018, Granted patent #9955244
Oct. 2017, Granted Patent #9804003
Aug. 2016, Granted Patent #9927360
Oct. 2015, Granted Patent #9167325