In July we reported that Apple was in the race to acquire PrimeSense and last month the news was official. Little did we know at the time that Apple's Tel Aviv research center was already working on sensing technologies specializing in three-dimensional analysis of body and facial movements, and so the acquisition of PrimeSense was a perfect fit to advance future projects. A quick look at PrimeSense's website will show you that Apple has acquired a company that possesses a lot of real-world technology that could advance many Apple products in the future. Today's report takes a peek at a few of the patents that Apple has inherited.
The European Patent Office published a new patent application from Apple late last week that describes a fused glass process for device housings. We're all familiar with the iPhone 4S having both its face and back housings constructed with glass. Apple's latest European patent filing, which lists Jony Ive as one of the inventors, illustrates the double sided glass construction design possibly extending through to the iPod, iPad, and various displays (iMac, Cinema) including a television encased in glass using a fused glass process.
On June 13, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a key update to an older patent of Apple's relating to wearable computers and "sensing systems monitoring" applications covering sports, shipping, training, medicine, fitness, wellness and industrial production. The invention specifically relates to sensing and reporting events associated with movement, environmental factors such as temperature, health functions, fitness effects, and changing conditions.
On May 23, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals Apple's next generation of "Airplay" that will be able to operation in a two-way manner that is also interactive. Apple also hints that the separate devices of an Apple TV and a Television could be combined into a single device, an Internet-enabled television.
On February 28, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals technology that could support a future iPhone with satellite capabilities. Satellite phones or satphones are popular on expeditions into remote areas where terrestrial cellular service is unavailable. Apple's patent filing states that the use of satellites for personal and business communications is an important technique in global communication networks. Satellite communication systems provide obvious benefits that allow users to transmit and receive communication signals over a large footprint.
Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs told Biographer Walter Isaacson that he'd "like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it." In that very same timeline, Apple's engineers were working on his dream TV and in a patent application published this morning, we get a tiny glimpse of the enhanced audio system that may be accompanying this future HDTV. The system will also intelligently integrate surround sound-like quality for video conferencing for the home or work. Apple's TV will also be able to work with FaceTime and create a unique audio experience whereby the voices from multiple participants will be heard in the exact direction that they're positioned on the screen. While it's not the Killer HDTV patent we're all still waiting for, it's the next best thing. Today we could safely say that Apple's Killer HDTV is real, at least on paper.
When it comes to the topic of Apple + TV, let's be frank. The world is waiting for an Apple HDTV to deliver the next great thing. But like with the iPhone, patents dated back to 1999 or eight years prior to seeing a real world product. It's just a fact of life that Great Products take time to work through the system. Today, Apple has revealed how a future Apple TV set-top-box will be able to access additional information about a TV show, event or movie that you're about to watch. It will be able to provide Apple TV users with contextual information on actors in a movie that you're about to watch or a summary of a keynote, for example. Interestingly, the additional context-base information will be sent to the user's iPad or iPhone that will work in sync with Apple TV and the content being presented on your television via your local cable or satellite provider. While today's invention is definitely not as ambitious as some TV oriented projects have been in the past, and there have been many of them over the years, it's probably a more realistic and humble starting point that seems to be only a stone's throw away.
Eye Openers: Apple Patents Reveal iPad with Built-In Stand & Cellular Antennas for Future iMac and/or TV
Wow, out of nowhere newly granted patents for Apple reveal MacBooks, an iMac and possibly a TV having cellular and television circuitry built in. If that wasn't enough, Apple reveals a possible future iPad with a built-in stand that incorporates a cellular antenna. Why say more – take a look for yourself.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-five newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. This particular report covers a single, wild and crazy patent that touches on advancing television, advanced 5D technology, interactive gaming, teleconferencing, advanced tactile feedback technology, virtual reality data gloves and even a unique touch signature for starting a future vehicle. Is that wild enough for you?
Last week Apple's patent application for an advanced TV remote was a bit of a stunner and the news about Apple's future HDTV keeps hitting the news. Just yesterday we learned of the Foxconn-Sharp alliance that's key to ramping up HDTV production for Apple's TV in the future. The day before that we learned of Apple being granted a patent for multi-touch skins that could wrap around a future TV remote so that controls could reside on the front, back or sides. Today, a new patent application was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office that provides us with a little more information about their new remote. This time around Apple details the remote's "learning system" that will always keep it up to date with the latest features via iCloud. While it's not an earth shattering invention by itself, it's all part and parcel of Apple's basket of all things Apple TV. The more we learn about their future HDTV system through patents, the better we'll understand their grander vision. This very much reminds me of the ramp up of patents in 1996, the year prior to the iPhone's debut. The buzz and anticipation surrounding the iPhone was "heart-thumpingly-insane" and the late Steve Jobs simply hit it out of the park for us. Time will tell if Tim Cook and Phil Schiller can engineer that same kind of buzz for Apple's HDTV – but one thing is for sure: they're off to a great start.
Yesterday, Apple was granted a very interesting and important patent regarding a very specific TV Display technology. The patent basically related to Apple's advancement of a little known technology called Fringe Field Switching (FSS). Apple's research pushed the technology so that it could now power a large HDTV. Previous versions of FSS couldn't accommodate such large displays. The underlying technology is an off-shoot of IPS called S-IPS. It's a technology that provides superior performance and color gamut with high luminosity. IPS technology is currently being used in Apple's iMac and the patent for IPS is held by Sharp. This was one of the key points that surfaced in a news report out Taiwan today that basically confirms that the Foxconn – Sharp deal directly equates to a future Apple HDTV.
Today marks the day that Apple takes another leap forward in multi-touch technology. Apple has just won a knock out Multi-Touch Skin technology that will allow Apple to create next generation devices that are multi-dimensional in nature like a multi-touch sphere or a TV remote that has multiple touch areas for different controls. Apple could license the technology to car companies for creating multi-touch skin based steering wheels that could be responsive to gestures to turn the radio on or answer the phone for hands free operation. It could apply to sporting apparatus or even on guitar frets so as to provide feedback to a music analysis program. If Apple gave their competitors a headache in court with their traditional Multi-Touch patents, then they're competitors are going to need a lot more Tylenol once they realize what Apple has just won: Boom!
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of nineteen newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. One of the patents that stood out from the crowd this morning relates to a high refresh rate LCD called FFS that Apple clearly states is suited for a TV. In fact, Apple's technology advances FFS so that it could work with large screen HDTVs, as previous versions of FSS couldn't accommodate such large displays. The technology is an off-shoot of IPS called S-IPS. It's a technology that provides superior performance and color gamut with high luminosity. IPS technology is currently being used in Apple's iMac – which stems from this patent.
As rumors swirl and dance about in the blogosphere about Apple's coming HDTV, an Apple patent application pops up just in time to tease us about some of the possible new features that their TV remote may offer. While some of the features may apply to Apple's own HDTV, Apple's planned invasion of this market means attacking the entire market which includes TV's already in the marketplace today. One of Apple's wild new universal remote features works like this: you take a photo of your current TV remote and it sends it to iCloud for analysis. It then sends a "virtual copy" of your remote, functionality and all, to your iPhone. You're now able to control your current TV with Apple's advanced universal remote and enjoy all of Apple's TV remote features and likely tie-in products and services. Is that wild enough for you?
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-two newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. This morning's second report is focused on a single Apple TV patent. It's a patent regarding episodic TV and it's another patent credited to the late, great, Steve Jobs.
One of the projects that I've always believed to have been on Apple's roadmap was that of a Smart-HDTV – even when Apple kept insisting publicly that it was just a "hobby." Year after year Apple's patents were indicating that the HDTV project was still alive and well. In fact there was enough evidence to call it an official trend worth following. So we opened a special Apple TV archive on our site to keep tabs on this project's progress. Today, the news broke that Steve Jobs had been working on this project until the very end and that Apple may have finally cracked the Smart TV mystery.
On October 20, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their work on optical transmitting cables, connectors and adapters. I first thought that the patent was simply describing Thunderbolt until I saw the illustrations as you could see above. They have nothing to do with Thunderbolt. These kinds of cables are usually used with HDTV's and other home electronics. While optical cables are interesting and I'm sure that they'll likely work with a future iteration of Apple TV – I wonder what else Apple may have in mind. Interestingly, the patent graphics make it appear as if the product is in its final stages of design. If you have any specific ideas as to where Apple could use such cables, beyond what is presented in the patent application, make sure to send in your comments.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 13 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today and one was a real stunner. Today's report focuses on this advanced 3D display and imaging system that packs one hell of a wallop. Apple's patent covers a wild 3D system that could generate an invisible space in front of the user that could allow them to work with holographic images or project their hands onto a screen in front of them to manipulate switches or move pieces of virtual paper or parts of a presentation. One could only image how this could be applied to 3D gaming, business or medical applications in the future. This is Apple's second major revelation about such an advanced 3D system and many supporting patent applications would suggest that the system is progressing quite well in Apple's research labs. The good news, is that future iOS devices will be one of the drivers behind this new beast. This is definitely one of Apple's coolest ideas to date.
Last week the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for Apple's iBooks. For children's books, Apple has devised a number of new gesture options to make reading more fun and interactive. One such gesture will allow a child to tap on a word and have an associated picture, animation or video pop-up to make that word come to life. For those learning a foreign language, Apple has devised a gesture to have a word present itself in the student's native language so as to quicken the learning process. Apple's ideas also seem to cross over to electronic magazines where tapping on certain words could pop up a related widget. For example, when reading a financial magazine article on Apple (AAPL), tapping on its NASDAQ symbol would automatically open a financial widget showing Apple's current stock price. Yet where Apple's patent application really shines is in its description of a new chip that future iOS devices could end up adopting. Our report reveals the nature of this little wonder that could definitely add a little zing to future iOS devices.
On June 23, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for AppleTV. The proposed system is described by Apple as being an enhanced TV widget paradigm. While Google has gotten an early start in this arena of TV meets the Internet, the system is basically working with static widgets. Apple's paradigm involves taking widgets to the next level of live widgets that will interact with TV shows like NBC's "The Voice" so that users could directly vote for their favorite candidates from their HDTV effortlessly. The system will also work with live sports like football with other live content is in the works. The system still involves Apple's AppleTV set-top-box but with a twist. It will finally hook up with regular Cable TV networks! Now that could be hot!
Today the US Patent and Trademark Office published Apple's patent which relates to FaceTime's picture-in-picture effect that is implemented on mobile devices like the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad. The patent mainly focuses on how to achieve this feature while conserving electrical power. Yet the patent hints that the scope of the patent doesn't limit this PIP feature to just videoconferencing.
Apple Wins a Surprising iMac & TV Display Testing System Patent + Others for Final Cut Pro, the Apple Store & More
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 10 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our second report of the day we cover a great number of Apple's granted patents including one for Final Cut Pro, a design patent for the App Store's icon imagery, another for an Apple Store related system and a few other minor patents along the way. Yet the surprise of the day certainly goes to a quality testing system designed for high-end LCD displays designed for such systems as a television or an iMac. Apple's display's have been a definite cut above their competitors for some time now and learning about this secret testing equipment easily explains one of the reasons for their ongoing success. Attention to quality detailing is Apple's Hallmark.
Yesterday, the US Patent Office published close to 35 patents for Apple and overnight we've dug up a few more interesting ones that we just couldn't get posted in good time. In today's patent report we're going to show you how Apple is advancing on two interesting market fronts. The first involves reinventing the Mini Jack for future wearable and miniature portable devices while the second involves pico-like projectors for portables like the iPhone and MacBook. The patent even hints of home theater and television systems. Curiously Apple is building an interesting portfolio of projector patents that seem to be inching their way to market ever so slowly.
Earlier this month, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that revealed one of the possible next chapters for AppleTV. Although Apple continually insists that AppleTV is nothing more than a hobby of theirs, their R&D via patents is showing us another story. It appears that Apple is continually advancing future possibilities for AppleTV on a regular basis. In today's patent report we take a look at Apple's latest vision for AppleTV that will put more relevant data at your fingertips. Let's say that you like a tune that you're hearing on the latest episode of House or Fringe. You'll be able to put the scene on pause and have a new navigational bar appear that will give you the option of finding the data on that tune in one click. Apple's latest AppleTV patent lists eight new possible data options that could make watching TV more fun in the future.
When Apple introduced the iPhone in January 2007, it turned the mobile phone industry on its head. It changed everything we knew about smartphones and threw out the manual. That's what secret out-of-the-blue technology could do when applied just right. With the iPhone's success, the Crazy Ones of Cupertino went into high gear. They were scribbling ideas on bar napkins as their teams feverishly pushed the idea of what Multi-Touch was and more importantly, could be. Today you'll learn about their new Three Dimensional Multi-Touch skin technology; an idea that could explode into a plethora of future product concepts.