The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 63 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's patent that relates to a new series of accessories relating to iPhone holders for passenger vehicles that are based on a magnets system.
One aspect of the invention covers a system for securing a user device like an iPhone in a vehicle. The system includes a magnet and an attraction plate. One of the magnets or the attraction plate is mechanically coupled to the vehicle, and the other of the magnet or the attraction plate is mechanically coupled to the user device. The magnet is selectively activated to hold the attraction plate and, thereby, secure the user device to the vehicle.
In some implementations of the system, the magnet is an electropermanent magnet.
In some implementations, the system includes multiple magnets and multiple attraction plates that each correspond to one of the magnets, wherein the magnets are activated progressively to firstly angularly orient the user device to magnets with a lesser force and secondly secure the user device to the magnets with a greater force.
In some implementations of the system, the magnet is a component of a holding device and is activated upon detection of the user device being positioned proximate the holding device. The holding device may include at least one optical sensor or a Hall effect sensor to detect the user device. The holding device may be configured to determine whether the user device is an authorized device by at least one of communicating with the user device, optically recognizing the user device, or magnetically recognizing the user device.
In some implementations of the system, the magnet is a component of a holding device and releases the user device upon detecting contact with user device by a user. The holding device may release the user device upon at least one of detecting the contact on opposite sides of the user device, detecting a force of the contact as exceeding a threshold, or optically recognizing the user as grasping the user device.
The holding device may release the user device in a staged manner by reducing a magnetic force applied by the magnet to the attraction plate to lessen a holding force by which the user device is removable by the user from the holding device.
Another aspect of the disclosure is a system for coupling a user device to a passenger vehicle. The system includes a holding device comprising a vacuum source in communication with multiple nozzles formed in a plate, wherein the vacuum source is selectively activated when the user device is detected in proximity of the plate to secure the user device to the plate.
Apple's FIG. 2 below is a schematic view of the vehicle; FIG. 6 is a front view of the holding device and an electronic device which depicts hidden internal components of a magnet in broken lines and an attraction plate with diagonal cross-hatching; FIG. 6A is a front view of a magnet of the holding device.
The figures below are illustrating possible magnet configurations that the system may support, with the larger one below being for multiple devices.
The top figures below illustrate two side views of the holder with differing design; FIG. 52 is a side view of an adjustable mechanism; FIG. 45 is an upper perspective view of another holding device with multiple portable electronic devices with one device representing a coffee cup (#4670).
Apple's granted patent that was issued today by USPTO was originally filed in Q3 2017.