Materials, Processes

Apple Invents a Method to Manufacture Hardened Ceramics with the use of Zirconia Particles

10.4 - Patent Application

1AF 55 COVER CERAMICS WITH ZIRCONIA

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Apple Invents a Way for Service Technicians to replace an iPhone or MacBook Battery safely and securely

1AF APPLE BATTERY REMOVAL TOOL PATENT
Apple has invented an apparatus that will make it easy for Apple's service team to replace an iPhone or MacBook battery quickly yet securely. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Battery Removal Apparatus," which covers various methods for removing a device battery. The good news is that it may allow technicians to save an iPhone out of warranty by replacing a battery rather than having to purchase a new costly iPhone. So while Apple isn't giving users direct access to the battery, it's the next best thing. 

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Apple Still Eyeing a Foldable iPod Touch/iPhone Case while a new Testing Process Designed for "Small Articles" Comes to Light

30a patent application
On July 3, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their continuing work on an iPod touch/iPhone case. Apple received a granted patent for this particular design back in March. It was originally filed with USPTO in January 2010. The thrust of the patent is about Apple's original iPad cover/case that was replaced with their Smart Cover and Smart Case. Now Apple is back at this invention and the question is why? Secondly, we discovered a patent application today covering testing processes of "small articles." The manufacturing process tests for glass breakage points and bending stresses in a brittle article.

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Apple invents a new Robotic Arm Testing System for the iPhone and introduces a new iPhone Antenna that Adds NFC

30a patent application
On May 22, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new robotic arm system for testing iPhones. Before devices are sold to customers, extensive wireless tests are performed. Testing allows designers to optimize antenna and wireless transceiver performance. Testing also ensures that regulatory limits on emitted radiation levels are satisfied. As smartphones are now being designed with the capability to operate in a large number of frequency bands and using multiple antennas, conventional testing systems are becoming overburdened leading to potential delays. Apple has designed a new testing system that uses a new robotic arm. And while we're on the topic of multiple antennas, another Apple patent surfacing today reveals a new antenna structure that will combine NFC with Non-NFC communications to the same antenna. With Apple recently signing an e-Wallet deal with China UnionPay requiring NFC, Apple's latest NFC invention may very well be making its way to the iPhone 6.

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Apple Seeks Patent for their new US Plant Five Axis Robotic Arm

1. Cover Graphic - Apple robotic finishing system
Last Thursday the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that they're seeking protection for a newly advanced five axis robotic arm used in the manufacture of their new Mac Pro. Apple's Senior Vice President Operations Jeff Williams states in a video presented below that in order to make the advanced Mac Pro Tower, Apple had to pioneer entirely new processes. Of course one of them relates to Apple's new robotic arm. In the end, Apple is showing us the insane depths that they're willing to go so as to create an amazingly original desktop computer. How many companies other than Apple would go to such lengths to design a new desktop today in the midst of the mobile revolution? None. Apple just thinks different. Designing cool products is just in their DNA

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Apple Reveals an Oleophobic Coating on Sapphire Process for iDevices that may Incorporate Liquid-Metal

30a patent applicatioin
On March 27, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Oleophobic Coating on Sapphire." Apple's invention covers a surface coating apparatus that could spray oleophobic and other coatings onto the glass of an iDevice. Apple's patent also hints that the body and bezel of future iDevices could be made of plastic, aluminum or an amorphous glass material which translates into being a liquid-metal. Today, we get another piece of Apple's sapphire materials puzzle.

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Apple Reveals the Wonderful World of Nano-Particle Inks & More

1. Cover for Apple patent re nano particle inks
On March 20, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals Apple's work with spherically shaped nano particles and pigment nano-particles in particular that could be used in inks or dyes and applied to devices via screen printing and spraying processes. If you're an industrial designer or student in this field, you may find this invention to be of great interest to you. For the rest of us, it's a little over our heads. Though admittedly, it's an interesting invention only because it's a coloring process that could be used with future products made of sapphire.

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Apple Invents a Cosmetic Inspection System to keep iDevices Blemish Free and Revisits their Standalone Camera Patent

1. Cover - Apple patent pending cosmetic Inspection Station invention
On February 27, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals yet another level of their fanatical attention to detail to ensure that iDevices rolling off the production line are particle and blemish free. Earlier today we posted another report covering Apple's intent to add self-healing material to iDevice and Mac display backlights to ensure that artifacts are self-eliminated. So while Apple advances their iDevices with features like Touch ID, we able to see through today's inventions that they also pay attention to the finer details that make premium Apple products. Today's report concludes with revisiting Apple's patent pending invention regarding a handheld standalone camera that Apple is still tweaking.

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Apple Exploring new Transparent Fiber Composite Materials for Future Devices Including Wearable Computers

1. Cover - Apple patent transparent fiber composite

On January 30, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Transparent Fiber Composite." Apple's invention relates to transparent composite materials, and more particularly to relatively transparent composites formed with fibers encapsulated in a resin. Apple has been experimenting with composite materials since 2007 as we detailed in a 2010 patent report. We reported on Apple working on nano-silica fiber coatings in 2013 as well. This is all part in parcel of research that Apple is heavily investing in so as to find new materials for future devices. The wearable computer is one such category that will be able to take advantage of composite materials such as the one found in today's patent filing. Composite materials could be lighter and bend more easily than traditional plastic or metal which is ideal for clothing, smartwatches or other devices like ski boards. While today's invention provides us with no knock our revelation, it does provide us with a view into the research that Apple is currently engaged in.

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Apple Seeks "iPad Air" Trademark while Filing Patents for iPhone 5C Crack Resistant Plastic, Laser Patterning & More

1a. Cover - Multi-Step Pattern formation
On November 7, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark application for "iPad Air" which debuted on October 22. Apple also filed three patent applications of minor interest today covering crack resistant plastic for the iPhone 5C, multi-step laser patterning and more.

 

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Apple's Magnificent New Round of Manufacturing Process Patents

1A - Cover - Apple's Magnificent New Round of Manufacturing Process Patents
Anyone who loves Apple's products knows that all of Apple and especially Jony Ive and his band of merry men go to extraordinary lengths to design products with precision and attention to detail far beyond your typical technology company. Apple fans around the world always enjoy Jony Ive and his team putting together short videos that showcase various manufacturing processes involved in making insanely beautiful products such as the current iPhone 5C or 5S. We even get a kick out of Ive's meticulous mannerisms and vocabulary for describing new Apple products. This week the US Patent Office published a series of new patent applications from Apple that allow us to dip into Ive's pool of delights. Apple's latest manufacturing process patents allows us to take a peek behind the magic that goes into Apple's cool products. They reveal Apple's fanaticism and attention to unthinkable detail. In Apple's new round of magnificent inventions we see Apple working on new materials, advanced adhesives that you'd never imagine and much, much more. If you're one that appreciates Apple's detail and have a fascination for manufacturing processes, then you're in for a real treat.

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Apple Reveals New Laser Manufacturing Process for the iMac

1a. Cover - New Method for Mfg iMac
On October 17, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that their 2012 ultrathin iMac was manufactured by using a very sophisticated robotic force. The insane design precision didn't come about by accident. Apple's latest patent application describes a robotic solution created by Apple for the iMac and beyond. Apple's iMac webpage as noted above states that Apple re-imagined everything, re-engineered everything about the iMac and today's patent filing proves that out. This is Apple's second robotic invention. Apple's first design was for a robotic arm for manufacturing the iPhone that we covered back in January. Lastly, we present you with a secondary patent published today titled "Cosmetic Defect Reduction in Anodized Parts." It's Apple's new "finishing" bath designed to degrease, de-smut, anodize and chemically polish the iMac and other future iDevices until they reflect Apple's aesthetically insane finish so that they can give it their official stamp of approval: Designed by Apple in California.

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Four New Liquidmetal Related Patents Surface in Europe

1. Cover, Liquidmetal Related Patents
To date, our most comprehensive report on Liquidmetal was posted back in April 2013. Today, Patently Apple is the first to discover four new yet painfully detailed patents in Europe on this subject matter. These extremely difficult reads were more about the science behind liquidmetal than products and yet at the heart of each we were able to find a few interesting trickles of new thinking of how Apple could translate this material into elements related to future products. In fact, one of the four patents delves into liquid metal as it relates to plastics and more particularly, to plastic injection molding. It makes you wonder if there's a connection between Apple's new iPhone 5c and Apple's work with liquidmetal.

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Apple Files Patent for Anti-Reflective Display for iPad

1. Cover - Apple files patent for antireflective process for iPad display +
In 2012 AppAdvice asked the question: "Will an Anti-Reflective Screen Ever Come to the iPhone and iPad?" Well, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple today titled "UV Mask with Anti-Reflection Coating and UV Absorption Material," that answers that question. Apple's patent reveals that an anti-reflection film will be added to the manufacturing process of a future iPad display. The new anti-reflective process may extend to other products in the future including the iPhone, other portables and a television.

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Apple Invents a Fusion Process that Will Add a Sapphire Laminate Layer to iPhone, iPad & Future iWatch Cover Glass

1. Cover - Apple patent - fusing sapphire laminate to iDevice displays
On September 12, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their intention to add a sapphire laminate to future iDevices like the iPhone and iWatch to provide a stronger glass that is ultimately scratch resistant. It was revealed earlier this week that Apple's new iPhone 5S Home Button is made from laser-cut sapphire crystal. Apple's patent application describes their method of fusing a sapphire laminate sheet to a device's cover glass.

 

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A few Technical Patents look at new Processes for Touchscreens, Cooling Systems for Multi-Core Processors and Siri

1. Cover Graphic for an Apple Multi-Patent Report
The week before Apple's big iPhone event, the US Patent and Trademark Office published 20 original patent applications from Apple with most of them being very low key. In this patent report we point to a series of interesting yet extremely detailed patents. One covers new processes behind Apple's iDevice touchscreens. Another covers a possible cooling system controller for Apple's upcoming Mac Pro with multi-core processors. Yet another covers teaching Siri how to remember name pronunciation for foreign names. And lastly, Apple may be thinking about providing iDevices with a simple zoom slider for taking photos near or far. If you're one that likes to read about the little hidden details behind some of Apple's greatest products of today and tomorrow, then you'll enjoy this report.

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Other Patents revealed today Cover Apple's Lightning Connector, an iPhone Status Sharing Feature & New Manufacturing Process

1. Patent Report covers 3 Apple inventions 08.22.13
On August 22, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of 20 original patent applications from Apple today excluding 12 continuation patents. In this report we cover four mildly interesting inventions. The first details Apple's lightning connector exhaustively. The second covers automating Apple's iPhone status sharing feature so users won't have to set it up in the future. A third patent covers a new injection molding system for creating parts for Apple iDevices faster and cost effectively. And lastly we link you to a new patent application covering technology relating to the next iPhone cellular standard that's in the works called LTE-Advanced. 

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Apple Invents Revolutionary Flex Material for MacBooks & Beyond

1. Cover - Apple introduces a revolutionary new flex material
On August 22, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a revolutionary new flexible material that could be used as the enclosure and hinge mechanism for a future MacBook and several other products. The new material is designed to purposely flex just enough to bend into a particular geometric form factor and no more so as to safeguard internal components. It's the kind of material that only Apple would take the time to invent so that they could create truly amazing next generation products.

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Why is Apple so focused on new Glass Processes Lately?

1. Cover - Apple Euro patent - Annealing Glass processes
A new Apple patent application filing surfaced in Europe recently pertaining to apparatus, systems and methods for improving compressive stress in glass members such as the cover glass for an iDevice like an iPhone. The patent describes a new annealing process that is used before chemically treating the glass to further strengthen it. Yet the question that first comes to mind is why is Apple so focused on advancing glass processes lately? It's the second major patent on advancing glass processes in two weeks. Is it just a backup plan or is Apple working on new projects? Only Time will tell. 

 

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Apple Redesigns MagSafe & Invents New Flexible Audio Connector

1. Cover - Apple Patents - Redesigned MagSafe, New Flexible Audio Connector & More
On August 15, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published three patent applications from Apple that reveal new connector related developments. The first invention covers a MagSafe connector design with new "flat attraction plates" for better connectivity and superior aesthetics. The second invention covers a flexible audio connector that could be made with new superelastic materials. And lastly, a third connector related invention reveals a new manufacturing methodology that implements lasers so as to eliminate a lot of manual labor.

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Apple Invents Methods of Forming 3D Structure with Liquid Metal

1. Cover - Apple patent - methods of forming 3D structures
On July 25, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals methods for forming three-dimensional structures which may be configured to provide desirable characteristics with respect to light, sound, and fluid travel therethrough. Further, the three-dimensional structures may be configured to define desired stiffness, weight, and/or flexibility within a device. The three-dimensional structures may be employed in embodiments including heat sinks, housings, speaker or vent covers, springs, etc. Apple's patent FIG. 5 noted in our cover graphic illustrates an example embodiment of a three-dimensional structure that includes connecting members defining a box structure. Hidden within Apple's patent is the fact that it relates to liquid metal applications.

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Apple Invents New Manufacturing Process for Precision Display Setting and a New 3D Cursor

1A. Cover - Apple Patents cover shape adjustment system & 3D Cursor
On May 30, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new manufacturing process relating to precision display setting on devices like an iMac, iPhone, iPod or Television. For those of you who happen to love industrial design and its associated processes as much as Apple's Jony Ive does, you'll appreciate Apple's latest invention. The second invention that we briefly touch on in our report relates to Apple's work on a 3D cursor. Considering that Tim Cook stated that a new Mac Pro would be coming to market later this year, perhaps we'll see this new feature pop up. Then again, don't count on logic being a guide for the timing of any Apple invention.

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Apple Invents New Touch Pad Electrode Design & Diamond-Like Carbon Coating to Help Keep Battery-Powered Devices Cooler

1. Cover - Apple Patents New electrode pad design + Diamond like coating for iDevices

Last week we learned about Apple inventing an all-new touch sensor panel that would support larger displays like those found on a MacBook Air or Pro. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals yet another major touch related invention relating to an all-new touch pad electrode design which is to reduce the effects of noise and thermal drift and to provide users with more precision in their interaction with a touch display. Another invention covered in our report covers an amorphous diamond-like carbon coating for increasing the thermal conductivity of the structural frames of any Apple mobile device that is battery-powered. We close out our report by covering a new camera patent and providing you with a list of continuation, provisional and divisional patents that were published today that may interest some.

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A Fascinating Liquidmetal Patent from Apple Surfaces in Europe

1. Cover, Liquidmetal Related Patent
Every once in a while I check out various databases around the world for new trademark and patent filings and every now and then I'm rewarded by finding something interesting or something that somehow slipped through the cracks. One of these surprises has once again surfaced and it's an interesting one that touches on the subject of Liquidmetal. The Material's extraordinary ability to bond contrasting materials together with stunning precision will no doubt provide Apple with the ability to create a series of future devices that will be seen as aesthetic wonders. And within this patent application we learn a few new twists about Liquidmetal. And to top it all off, Apple provides us with an interesting list of possible products that could be aesthetically and functionally enhanced by using this exotic material in the future.

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Apple Files Multiple Patents Regarding Manufacturing Processes and Systems, Minor Tweaks and Zero Border Displays

1. Multiple Process Apple Patents etc

Last week the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of patent applications from Apple covering some of their manufacturing processes, minor tweaks and more. Our patent report covers more than eight patent applications covering such things as Apple's pressure sensors that may be found in a next generation of their EarPods, display fracture and deformation systems regarding iDevices, a tampering detection system, an iDevice laser texturizing process and much more.

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