Apple Won 52 Patents Today Covering a Feature of the Apple Watch Digital Crown, the iPhone X Display & more
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple 52 newly granted patents today. Our final granted patent report of the day covers two main patents. The first covers a capacitive gap sensor for the Apple Watch's digital crown. The second covers an iPhone heat dissipation case. The invention looks like the iPhone 5C case but the dates of the patent may suggest that this is a whole new case design that's more advanced. Our report covers an iPhone 6 related design patent and we wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Digital Crown: Capacitive Gap Sensor
Apple's granted patent relates to Apple's digital crown. More specifically, the Apple Watch's digital crown or "manipulation mechanism" such as a cap or shaft that is moveable in multiple directions includes capacitive sensors arranged in multiple planes with respect to the manipulation mechanism that are associated with the multiple directions of movement.
Apple was first granted this invention under number 10,061,399 a year ago. Apple's second granted patent #10,379,629 issued today, includes 20 patent claims that expand upon the original 20 claims. To review the 20 new claims click here.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 depicts an electronic device having a multi-directional input device; FIG. 2B depicts the multi-directional input device during translation; FIG. 8 depicts a fifth example cross-sectional view of the multi-directional input device of FIG. 2A where the dielectric is an air gap and a biasing mechanism.
Apple's patent FIG. 10 above depicts a flow chart illustrating an example method for operating a capacitive sensor for a directional input device. This example method may be performed by the multi-directional input devices of FIGS. 1, 2B and 8.
Three of the Inventors
Collin Petty: Sensor Hardware Design & Integration Engineer
Adam Clavelle: Product Design Engineer
Tyler Bushnell: Product Designer.
Heat Dissipation Case & Methods for Navigating Heat from an iPhone
Apple was granted patent #10,377,000 that relates to an iPhone accessory case. Beyond providing a protective cover for the iPhone, it provides a heat removal system to draw heat from one or more heat-generating components in the electronic device.
More specifically, the iPhone case may include a wall that receives the electronic device. The accessory device may further include a heat transfer mechanism disposed in the wall. The heat transfer mechanism may include a heat collector capable of receiving heat generated from the component. The heat transfer mechanism may further include a heat conduit thermally coupled with the heat collector. The heat conduit may provide a pre-defined heat path that limits a transfer of heat to a pre-defined portion of the wall.
In another aspect, a method for forming an accessory device having a shell configured to secure an electronic device and aid in navigating heat away from a heat-generating component in the electronic device. The method may include disposing a thermally conductive layer in the shell in a first location that corresponds to a location of the heat-generating component when the electronic device is secured by the shell.
The method may further include extending the thermally conductive layer from the first location to a second location different from the first location. The thermally conductive layer may define a path along which heat flows from the first location to the second location.
In some embodiments, the second location corresponds to an opening that extends through the shell to allow any of the heat at the opening to dissipate away from the shell.
In another aspect, an accessory device suitable for use with an electronic device having a heat-generating component is described. The accessory device may include a layer that includes an opening. The accessory device may further include a thermally conductive feature at least partially disposed in the opening. In some embodiments, in response to heat from the heat-generating component, the thermally conductive feature absorbs the heat from the electronic device by changing from a solid to a liquid.
Apple's patent FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of the accessory device with the electronic device removed to show heat navigation features of the accessory device; FIG. 4 illustrates a rear view of the accessory device with the electronic device disposed in the accessory device, further showing the accessory device removing heat from the electronic device; FIG. 7 illustrates an isometric view showing a user holding an electronic device disposed in an accessory device
Apple's patent FIG. 15 above illustrates an exploded view of an alternative embodiment of an accessory device
Apple's iPhone 5C case debuted in 2013. Apple's patent filing is dated August 2015 with more work on this having been published in March 2017 when the 5C case had been discontinued. Technically, it appears to be an iPhone case that is faremore advanced than mere cosmetics as the iPhone 5C case seemed to be.
You could check out Apple's granted patent here and judge for yourself if it's the iPhone 5C case or one that is more advanced and yet to come to market. Send in your comments on this case either way.
Two of the Inventors
Edward Siahaan: Product Design Manager, 10 year veteran.
Dhaval Shah: Digital Designer
Key Apple Design Patent Issued Today
The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today
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