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Today's Continuation Patent Report Covers a Smart Fabric Sensing Device and a Headset Driven by an iPhone

1 cover smart fabric

 

Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a number of continuation patents from Apple and in this report we focus on two of these patents relating to a smart fabric sensing device and Apple's 11 year old patent that endlessly continues.

 

In the various styles of headsets that Apple seems to be working on simultaneously, this has to be the simplest design of all. With Samsung having already taken Apple's idea years ago via their Galaxy Gear, Apple should either get this device to market and evolve it over time or kill the project.

 

For the record: Today's patents covered in this report are not new invention applications but rather "continuation patent" applications wherein Apple is updating and/or adding specific technology, features and/or methods that they want to legally extend or protect in their current granted patents.  Any change and/or addition to their respective inventions are restricted to patent claims alone.

 

Fabric Sensing Device

 

Apple was granted this patent in July and we briefly covered it in our report here. Today the U.S. Patent Office published Apple's continuation patent 20190272055 for their fabric sensing device. Two of the key new patent claims in this patent filing are covered in claims #11 and #12 as follows:

  

Claim 11: "A touch sensor, comprising: a first set of conductive threads; a second set of conductive threads interwoven with the first set of conductive threads, wherein the second set of conductive threads overlaps the first set of conductive threads to form sensing nodes; non-conductive threads interwoven with the first and second sets of conductive threads; and circuitry coupled to the first and second sets of conductive threads, wherein the circuitry applies a drive signal to the first set of conductive threads and senses a change in capacitance on the second set of conductive threads."

 

Claim 12: "The touch sensor defined in claim 11, wherein the circuitry detects a touch gesture."

 

Head-Mounted Device using an iPhone for its Display

 

2 headset using iPhone display

 

Apple's invention for a headset that uses an iPhone for its display was way ahead of their competition like Samsung with their Gear VR headset. Apple's first granted patent was issued 11 years ago in 2008. Apple has since been granted 10 patents for this invention that they continually update and never deliver.

 

In today's "continuation patent" Apple provides 20 completely different patent claims from those in their last granted patent in 2017. The patent claims now cover two viewable modes; describe a docking area and more. Some of the new aspects of this invention that Apple now wants to legally protect are highlighted in the 20 patent claims presented below in yellow highlight.   

 

Claim 1: A system comprising: a cellular telephone having a display that is operable in a normal viewing mode and a close up viewing mode; and a head-mounted device having: a support structure that is configured to support the cellular telephone in a docking area; and first and second lenses through which the display of the cellular telephone is viewable when the cellular telephone is in the docking area, wherein the cellular telephone is configured to switch the display to the close up viewing mode when the cellular telephone is in the docking area.

 

Claim 2: The system defined in claim 1, wherein the cellular telephone has a connector and wherein the head-mounted device comprises: a retention structure configured to secure the cellular telephone within the docking area; a connector configured to mate with the connector of the cellular telephone; foam coupled to the support structure; and at least one strap coupled to the support structure.

 

Claim 3: The system defined in claim 1, wherein the head-mounted device has a button supported by the support structure and wherein the cellular telephone is configured to be controlled by input to the button when the cellular telephone is in the docking area.

 

Claim 4: The system defined in claim 1, wherein a size of the docking area is adjustable.

 

Claim 5: The system defined in claim 1, wherein the head-mounted device further comprises a sensor selected from the group consisting of: a proximity sensor, an accelerometer, and a touch sensor.

 

Claim 6: The system defined in claim 5, wherein the cellular telephone is configured to be controlled by input to the sensor of the head-mounted device when the cellular telephone is in the docking area.

 

Claim 7: The system defined in claim 1, wherein the cellular telephone has a front face and an opposing rear face, wherein the display is formed at the front face, and wherein the cellular telephone further comprises: a speaker at the front face; and a camera at the rear face.

 

Claim 8: The system defined in claim 1, wherein the support structure of the head-mounted device has a nose cutout and wherein the head-mounted device further comprises: foam on the support structure that is positioned within the nose cutout.

 

Claim 9: The system defined in claim 1, wherein the display of the cellular telephone is configured to present images having a first resolution in the normal viewing mode and wherein the display of the cellular telephone is configured to present images having a second resolution that is different than the first resolution in the close up viewing mode.

 

Claim 10: A cellular telephone having a front face and an opposing rear face, the cellular telephone comprising: a speaker; a proximity sensor that is configured to generate proximity sensor data; a camera at the rear face; and a display at the front face that is configured to present images in a first format in a first display mode and present images in a second format that is different from the first format in a second display mode, wherein the display is configured to present a left image frame and a right image frame while operating in the second display mode and wherein the display is configured to switch between the first display mode and the second display mode based on the proximity sensor data.

 

Claim 11: The cellular telephone defined in claim 10, wherein the left and right image frames presented in the second display mode are configured to give the illusion of three-dimensions.

 

Claim 12: The cellular telephone defined in claim 10, wherein the proximity sensor is configured to sense a coupling to a head-mounted device.

 

Claim 13: The cellular telephone defined in claim 12, wherein the display is configured to switch from the first display mode to the second display mode in response to the proximity sensor sensing the coupling to the head-mounted device.

 

Claim 14: The cellular telephone defined in claim 10, wherein the display is configured to present images having a first resolution in the first display mode and wherein the display of the cellular telephone is configured to present images having a second resolution that is different than the first resolution in the second display mode.

 

Claim 15: The cellular telephone defined in claim 10, wherein the display is configured to switch from the first display mode to the second display mode in response to the proximity sensor data.

 

Claim 16: A cellular telephone configured to couple to a head-mounted device, the cellular telephone comprising: a connector; and a display that is operable in one of a first display mode and a second display mode, wherein the display is configured to present a left image frame and a right image frame while operating in the second display mode and wherein the display is configured to switch from the first display mode to the second display mode in response to coupling of the connector to the head-mounted device.

 

Claim 17: The cellular telephone defined in claim 16, further comprising a speaker, a button, and a camera.

 

Claim 18: The cellular telephone defined in claim 16, wherein the connector is configured to couple to a complementary connector in the head-mounted device.

 

Claim 19: The cellular telephone defined in claim 18, wherein the connector is a female connector and the complementary connector in the head-mounted device is a male connector.

 

Claim 20: The cellular telephone defined in claim 16, wherein the display is configured to present images having a first resolution in the first display mode and wherein the display is configured to present images having a second resolution that is higher than the first resolution in the second display mode.

 

Apple's continuation patent 20190273815 that was published today by the U.S. Patent Office was filed back in Q2 2019. Considering that this is a continuation patent, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.

 

10.51XF - Continuation Patent Report BarAbout Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments.

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