The timing of both a new Apple patent application and where I was in Isaacson's biography this past week seemed to coincide perfectly. While our report presents you with a brief overview of Apple's latest toy for Jonathan Ive, the heart of this report really touches on Apple's Magical Design Studio that mercilessly cranked out one hit after another for the past decade to the chagrin of their competitors.
On November 17, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that technically reveals advancements to visual display elements. The new system uses a combination of a light guide system along with microperforations and microlenses to provide high level alignment on at least one axis. Commercially speaking, the new system could advance the way that Apple creates their backlit logo on MacBooks so as to conserve power and take up less space. Interestingly, Apple's outlook for applications for this system extends to Kitchen appliances, a television and all personal computers stationary or portable.
Last year Apple was granted a patent for a "Display that emits circularly-polarized light." We reported on that granted patent in March 2010. Earlier this week the USPTO published Apple's divisional patent application 20110124260 which claimed priority from both 2006 and 2010 patents which were covered in Apple's granted patent. The illustrations found in this latest filing were identical to those used in Apple's granted patent. Considering that the technology was in-hand as far back as 2006 and that the granted patent actually illustrated the technology being used on an iPod Classic, it's clear that Apple was far beyond "exploring" this technology as others have incorrectly reported on this week. Today's report provides you with the reason why Apple filed their divisional patent application this week.
In September Apple was granted a mysterious patent concerning an Improved Laminate Composite material. Today we see that this new laminate composite could be playing a part in a new lighter and more flexible material that could end up in future generations of Apple's iPad in addition to new accessories like headphones and folio-styled cases. Apple's patent intrigues us with rich details about their new 3D knitting process that will produce these next generation materials. It's unknown at this time if Apple will use the lower cost material for entry units alone while retaining aluminum for their higher end units. However, considering that Apple likes to provide consumers with free engraving on such portables during the holiday season, I can't see this being extended to fiber based materials. Then again, time will tell. Update: Another patent has been added to this report that may point to an interesting twist to a future iPad.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 18 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Three of today's granted patents related to great design wins for Apple's iPhone 4 and iPad. In this report we cover two additional notables published today that relate to Apple's Multi-Touch Dictionary and their method of spraying Liquid Metal to maintain acceptable internal and external operating temperatures in integrated circuits. Liquid Metal may actually end up in Apple's next iteration of the iMac – and in this report we'll explain why.
Every week we get to peek inside a little corner of Apple's R&D labs in some capacity. This week we're privy to seeing one of Apple's R&D teams thinking of of using a new material that could end up in any number of future Apple products. The material is basically regarded as a composite laminate that could consist of a wide range of materials including glass, synthetics, metals (such as aluminum or titanium) – or even epoxy. Apple's patent is as secretive as they are. It provides absolutely no guidance whatsoever as to how they intend on utilizing this new kind of material – though it's commonly used in real-world products today ranging from an iPad cover to all manner of sporting equipment such as golf clubs, baseball bats, canoes, bikes, skate boards and more. Yet all we know for certain at this point in time is that Apple has been granted a patent for supposedly improving the cosmetic surface of this material.
Basically, most consumers really don't care about how the sexy new iPhone is made; they just want to be able to enjoy buying this stunningly crafted device called the iPhone 4 and get out there and start flashing it in the face of their friends who are sad owners of the thick-brick Android or even the butt ugly Android. They don't really care about the shape of the iPhone's gasket or that the manufacturing process utilizes liquid metal so as to avoid gaps or spaces between the glass and metal members – or that Apple uses alloys with liquid atomic structures. Yet to future engineers and possibly those that will be the next generation of Crazy Ones in Cupertino, it definitely matters. Today's brief report points you to one of many Patents that are behind the coolest iPhone ever – with a few pointers along the way.