Yesterday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 77 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. In this particular report we cover two patents. The first covers a possible future keyboard supporting gesture ready keys. The second patent covers devices with concave displays. While it was considered a possible candidate for a future iPhone, I think that time has passed. Apple may, however, repurpose their invention for another type of device. Apple was granted two design patents yesterday 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.
Gesture Ready Keyboard Keys
Apple has been working on future keyboards with touch sensors built-into the keys allowing users to perform gestures such as scroll, move an on-screen cursor, form multitouch gestures like pinch-to-zoom and others right on the keys.
This is Apple's second granted patent for this invention. Our brief coverage of their first granted patent was posted in December 2019. Yesterday Apple was their second granted patent for this invention under number 10,732,728. Apple's engineers have been working on this project since at least 2016. One example of another invention within this project was covered in a March 29 report while another was covered in a June 2020 report.
Apple's patent FIG. 2 below illustrates keys on a keyboard that are touch sensitive; FIG. 5 is a circuit diagram of an illustrative keyboard with keys and an overlapping grid of touch sensor electrodes in a capacitive touch sensor; FIG. 11 is a top view of an illustrative touch sensor fabric in which touch sensor signal lines circumvent an opening that forms an alphanumeric character for a key; and FIG. 12 is a top view of an illustrative touch sensor fabric in which touch sensor signal lines are at least partially transparent.
While Apple's iPod Pro magic keyboard now offers a trackpad, Apple may decide to add gesture keys to their future Smart Keyboard Folio.
Devices with Convex Displays
Apple's patent for devices with convex displays originated with a filing back in 2011. Yesterday Apple was granted their fourth patent for this invention under number 10,735,569. Our report in late 2019 detailed the latest meaningful updates including facial recognition being added to the invention.
While the concept of components fitting within a sealed device offering concave wraparound display design may one day surface, it seems to me that such a design for an iPhone has long passed.
Apple's granted patent does, however, list other future possibilities beyond an iPhone such as "a wrist-watch device, a pendant device, or other wearable or miniature device, or a media player. The media player was tried in Apple's 2008 & 2009 iPod nano design as presented below with a concave design.
Because Apple keeps updating this patent and even adding the use of Face ID to it, they likely have something in mind for the future using this concave concept. Though I just don't see it for an iPhone any longer as their patent figure suggests.
Design Patents Granted to Apple
Apple was granted two design patents yesterday covering their simple White Lightning Dock and 'Hanked Cable.' An example of hanked cable is seen here. Apple even filed a patent for this in Australia back in 2012 and renewed in 2017. Apple was granted a patent for the making of hanked cable in the U.S. under number 9,073,727.
The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today
NOTICE: Our patent reports this morning were meant to be published yesterday. Our blogging service had an issue with graphics which caused the delay in posting the last two patent reports.