Apple Won 73 Patents this week covering Apple Pencil 2, Tire-Road Friction Mapping and a Camera System that corrects Bokeh Artifacts
Yesterday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 73 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. In this last granted patent report of the week we cover three patents. The first covers Apple Pencil 2; the second covers a Project Titan invention covering road-tire friction mapping, and; the third patent covers iPhone cameras that corrects optical aberrations like bokeh artifacts. 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.
Apple Pencil 2
Back in November 2018 Patently Apple discovered a patent filing in Europe for Apple Pencil 2 that highlighted the new magnet system added to Apple Pencil to make it attach to the side of an iPad while offering wireless charging. Apple introduced Apple Pencil in Q4 2018. Yesterday Apple was granted patent 10,775,902 for this invention.
Tire-Road Friction Mapping
In this second granted patent, we cover another 'Project Titan' patent relating to autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicle systems. In this particular patent, Apple covers systems and methods that estimate tire-road friction for multiple areas ahead of a vehicle. Tire-road friction cannot be measured directly. Instead, tire road friction is estimated using indirect measurements.
The systems and methods of this invention utilizes non-contact sensors to measure properties of the areas of the roadway ahead of the vehicle. The measured properties are used as a basis for estimating tire-road friction. By associating each of the measurements with an area ahead of the vehicle, a friction value map can be generated. The friction value map can be a two-dimensional representation of the roadway that correlates the estimated friction values to the areas ahead of the vehicle.
The friction value map can be used by an automated control system to aid control decisions. The vehicle can utilize knowledge of friction values for areas on the roadway ahead of the vehicle, as encoded in the friction value map, as inputs to the automated control system to more accurately determine vehicle handling limits, to avoid traversing areas of the roadway that have low friction values, and react to unexpected hazardous situations.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below is a block diagram that shows a friction estimation system; FIG. 9 is a block diagram that shows a vehicle; FIG. 10 is an illustration that shows the vehicle and a roadway; FIG. 11 is a flowchart that shows an example of a process for friction estimation.
Apple's granted patent 10,773,725 that was published yesterday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was originally filed in Q3 2018.
Optical Aberration Control for Cameras
Our third and last granted patent for this week covers Optical Aberration Control for iPhone/iPad cameras. Apple's invention that's never been made public before, covers optical aberration control for iDevice camera systems. Such a camera system may implement optical aberration control, e.g., by combining one or more variable focus devices with one or more actuators (e.g., a voice coil motor actuator) for moving a lens stack of the camera system to provide autofocus (AF) and/or optical image stabilization (OIS) functionality.
A variable focus device may have variable optical power to achieve AF, OIS, and/or introduce optical aberrations, such as spherical aberrations, to images. In some non-limiting examples, the optical aberrations may include coma artifacts, vignetting artifacts, and/or bokeh artifacts, etc.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates a schematic side view of an example camera system that may implement optical aberration control; FIGS. 2A and 2B illustrate an example variable focus device that may be included in a camera system to implement optical aberration control. FIG. 2A shows a schematic top view of the variable focus device. FIG. 2B shows a schematic side view of the variable focus device.
Apple's granted patent 10,775,614 was originally filed in Q3 2018 and published yesterday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The Remainder of this Week's Granted Patents