Apple Won 61 Patents Today covering a Project Titan Safety System, Eye-D Tracking, Headphones with Orientation Sensors & more
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 61 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today, the last patent day of 2019. In this particular report we cover three patents. The first covers a Project Titan Safety System by adding an extra level of protection for drivers. As a vehicle is about to enter a crash, sensors will kick-in and physically move the driver and/or passenger seats on an angle doubling the protection of a safety belt. The second patent covers over-the-ear headphones with orientation sensors and the last patent covers the use of an eye-tracking device in a headset (HMD) as a means of user ID. Apple was also granted two Apple Store related design patents today and as always, we wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Project Titan Invention
Today Apple was granted patent 10,518,674 Titled "Passive safety system for occupant deceleration that was originally filed in Q3 2016.
Common passive safety systems used to protect occupants in a front-end collision include airbags packaged within the steering wheel and dashboard of a vehicle. During a front-end collision, the rate of deceleration of the vehicle is quite rapid. Conventional airbags deploy when the collision is detected by one or more sensors. For example, the collision may be detected when a crumple zone along the front frame of the vehicle has been compressed by approximately half of its overall length.
Since airbags are generally not deployed until the occupants within the vehicle have moved a significant distance toward the steering wheel or dashboard, the airbags have only a small time window to exert sufficient force to decelerate the occupants. The extremely fast deployment time and high force requirements of airbags that may result in airbag-related injuries to the arms, head, and neck.
Apple's granted patent covers a passive safety system that includes a seat support structure, a seat that is connected to the seat support structure, a motion control device operable to control motion of the seat relative to the seat support structure, a sensor that provides an output signal, and a controller. The output signal is indicative of an imminent collision. The controller causes the motion control device to move the seat relative to the seat support structure in response to the output signal.
Another aspect of the invention that covers a passive safety system that includes a seat, and a structure for supporting the seat, wherein the seat is movable with respect to the structure.
A motion control device is connected to the structure. The motion control device is operable to apply a force to the seat. A sensor provides an output signal, wherein the output signal indicates a vehicle deceleration. A controller controls the force applied to the seat by the motion control device based on the vehicle deceleration.
Another aspect of the invention covers a passive safety system that includes a seat support structure, a seat that is connected to the seat support structure, a damper that controls motion of the seat relative to the seat support structure, a release mechanism, and a controller.
The release mechanism is movable between a between a locked position, in which the release mechanism restrains motion of the seat relative to the seat support structure, and an unlocked position, in which the release mechanism permits motion of the seat relative to the seat support structure. The controller causes movement of the release mechanism between the locked position and the unlocked position.
Apple's patent FIG. 2 below is a top view of a passive safety system; FIG. 3 is a top view of the passive safety system of FIG. 2 with the seat in a modified position.
Headphones with Orientation Sensors
Today Apple was granted patent 10,524,040 which is titled "Headphones with oriented sensors." Patently Apple covered this as a patent application report titled "Apple Reveals Future Headphones will Understand Orientation via Machine Learning & use Siri & Tap Inputs," back in August. You could check it out for more details here.
Head-Mounted Display Eye-D
Today Apple was granted patent 10,521,012 which is titled "Method for automatically identifying at least one user of an eye tracking device and eye tracking device."
When putting on a head-mounted display (HMD) device, using Face ID is out of the question as a means of conveniently authenticating a user. While Apple could technically add Touch ID to a future headset frame, they took possession of today's granted patent when they acquired SMI SensoMotoric Instruments GmbH back in June 2017.
SMI specialized in eye tracking technology related to Mixed Reality headsets. This invention could now provide Apple with the option of using eye-tracking as another means of user authentication when using in connection with either an HMD or smartglasses.
Apple's patent FIG. 3 below is a schematic illustrating a method for automatically identifying users by an eye tracking device; FIG. 4 a schematic illustration of a display device of an eye tracking device for providing feedback.
Apple won 2 Apple Store Related Design Patents
The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today