Apple Won 55 Patents Today covering the Original Vision for AirPods Pro, Smart Battery Case, Face ID for Macs & more
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 55 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover briefly cover the original patent for AirPods Pro before we knew its branded name; Apple's smart inductive charging battery case; and one of the original patents laying out the future for face recognition used on Macs for general authorization and specific app authentication. Our report also covers 2 design patents, and as usual, we wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
(Original) AirPods Pro Patent
Patently Apple covered Apple's original AirPods Pro patent back in September 2019, a month prior to coming to market, titled "AirPods Patent points to Future Swiping Gestures that could also apply to Over-the-Ear Headphones & Smartglasses."
Prior to the AirPods Pro launch, the Apple's patent application stated that future AirPods would support a new "Swipe Control' to possibility control volume or other features that Apple may dream up. This same technology could, as Apple suggests, be applied to many future devices including smartglasses, over-the-ear headphones and more.
Capacitive sensor electrodes may be formed both on the ear portion and the stalk portion.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below is a schematic diagram of an illustrative electronic device; FIGS. 2 and 3 show AirPods having capacitive sensor.
Apple's granted patent 10,728,646 that was granted today was filed in Q1 2018 though linked to patent application 20190297408 filed on Sept. 26, 2019 or about a month prior to Apple launching AirPods Pro. You could also review our original patent application report here.
Smart Battery Case
Today Apple was granted a patent 10,727,695 for their iPhone 11 Pro Max Smart Battery case that was launched in November 2019. Apple filed their patent application 20200083745 titled "Inductive Charging Module," in Q3 2018. You could check out all of the patent figures and details for this patent here.
Face Recognition for Macs
Well before a rumor for Face ID coming to Macs surfaced last week, Patently Apple posted a patent report in late March titled "Apple is working on bringing Face ID to Macs for user Authentication, Face Gesture Recognition and more."
The patent laid out the camera module providing Face ID technologies such light pattern recognition and a dot projector that will be used for unlocking computers along with capturing face gestures and emotions for Animoji and Memoji. The patent covered both the iMac (desktop) and MacBooks as presented in the patent figures below.
Today Apple was granted their third patent covering face recognition, now Face ID, under number 10,726,242. Before there was the marketing term Face ID, Apple's patent simply used the terminology by name. Apple's patent references a combination of face-detection and Face-recognition technologies.
The patent also covers the use of pattern recognition algorithms, computer vision, machine learning and more. Although these are familiar known technology categories today, they weren't back in Q1 2008 when this patent was first published.
It's clear that advances in product features like Face ID are sometimes long in the making before ever seeing the light. In Apple's case, it took acquiring PrimeSense to get the technology just right to launch Face ID for iPhone X and beyond – which is now on the cusp of moving forward to future Macs. To take a deeper look at Apple's patent click here.
In 2019 another patent report covering this subject matter was posted under the title "Apple Wins Patent for Presence Sensing and Facial Recognition for Macs" that's worth checking out if this is a feature that you're hoping will come to future Macs.
Apple Design Patent Wins Today
The two main design patents that were granted to Apple today covered a display tray related to Apple Watch Studio and for a display panel that may have started with the iPhone 5 and evolved to the iPhone SE at minimum. This is Apple's fourth design patent for this display which was awarded in years 2020, two in 2017 and one in 2014.
The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today