Apple receives patent for device that could send data via bending flexible materials

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Date: Tuesday, October 7th, 2014, 11:19
Category: Hardware, News, Patents

One day, you will send data by bending certain materials in the right direction.

Per AppleInsider and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Apple on Tuesday was assigned a patent detailing an interactive flexible device display that uses built-in sensors to detect bends or panel movement, which triggers a server request for multimedia content.

As published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple’s U.S Patent No. 8,855,727 for a “Mobile electronic device with an adaptively responsive flexible display” describes a unique interactive device panel capable of triggering various system tasks, specifically mass media content served up in the form of MMS messages.

While the document consistently refers to the portable computing device as a “digital periodical” or “advertising device,” the patent’s claims specifically point out methods in which the system is a mobile phone.

flexibledisplay

Only a generalized physical description is offered in the patent, but the invention notes the device can take on one or more flexible displays operably attached to hardware components like network adapters, sensors and more. Further, the displays can “roll up” into a specialized rectangular or cylindrical housing for easy carry. Lending to the device’s advertising capabilities is an embodiment that allows attachment to a lamp post or other highly visible public structure.

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Apple patent filing hints at NFC, digital wallet technologies

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Date: Friday, August 29th, 2014, 09:58
Category: News, Patents, Software

NFC-N-Mark-Logo

Sometimes it’s the patent filings that really tell you what’s coming down the road.

Per BusinessInsider, a newly public patent application from Apple describes a detailed backend architecture for a mobile wallet designed to hold digital credit, debit cards and coupons issued by a range of merchants and financial institutions.

The filing describes the system as capable of powering mobile transactions conducted via QR codes, the cloud, and contactless NFC (near field communication). It’s also explicitly engineered to handle large bursts of traffic, “such as can occur on a so-called ‘launch day’ of a client device.”

The patent application describes an “omni-wallet,” which allows other parties to securely send data to Apple device owners, using sophisticated encryption and secure hardware to prevent fraudsters from intercepting or duplicating sensitive information such as digital credit cards.

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Video shows new, reversible USB cable for iPhone 6

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Date: Tuesday, August 19th, 2014, 16:54
Category: Accessory, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, iPhone 6, Lightning, Patents, Rumor, Uncategorized

reversible_lightning_cable

Last week presented us with a look at a new cable rumored to be coming from Apple with the iPhone 6. This new USB to Lightning cable has a reversible USB connector, meaning you can insert it into an ordinary USB port in both orientations just like the Lightning end. Now MacRumors points us toward a video, posted by the same person as earlier photos, showing the cable being plugged in both ways.

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Is peace on the horizon for smartphone rivals?

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Date: Tuesday, May 20th, 2014, 08:20
Category: Apple, Business, Google, Legal, News, Opinion, Patents, Samsung

gavel_transI’m not holding my breath that the Apple vs. Samsung patent war will end any time soon, but perhaps there is hope that one day in the future, we won’t have to read any more posts or articles about the never-ending ruling appeals filed by Apple or Samsung, or at least not as many. As of last Friday, Apple and Google have agreed to drop all current patent infringement lawsuits between them and move on with their lives.

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BlackBerry stifles sale of Typo keyboard case

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Date: Wednesday, April 16th, 2014, 17:51
Category: Accessory, Cases, Hardware, iPhone, Legal, News, Patents

typo-keyboards.pngOriginally announced last December, Ryan Seacrest’s Typo keyboard case for iPhone 5/5S hit a snag in January right before its planned launch as CES when BlackBerry decided the Typo’s keyboard infringed on its own keyboard designs. Typo was finally forced to halt sales of the keyboard case when an injunction took effect on Tuesday that bans it from being imported to the U.S.

According to Macworld UK, the injunction is part of a patent lawsuit filed by BlackBerry and was triggered when BlackBerry put up a US$500,000 bond with the court. The money is to be used to compensate Typo for any lost profits if it ends up winning the case. Regarding the case, Judge William Orrick of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said,

“BlackBerry has established a likelihood of proving that Typo infringes the patents at issue and Typo has not presented a substantial question of the validity of those patents.”

Currently, going to the Typo website at http://typokeyboards.com simply offers an option to join their mailing list, however, much of the information about the device can still be found on the site.

 

 

Greg Christie retiring from Apple

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 10th, 2014, 09:11
Category: Announcement, Apple, iPhone, Patents, PDA, User Interface

apple_logoAfter 18 years with Apple, Human Interface chief Greg Christie is leaving the company at the end of the year. Christie was instrumental in the development of the first iPhoneOS. There were recent suggestions that the retirement announcement was promoted by difficulties regarding working with Senior VP of Design, Jony Ive. Apple has denied any problems in their official announcements, and have stated that Christie has been planning his retirement from Apple for some time, and that he will be staying on until the end of the year while some restructuring of Apple’s Human Interface Group takes place.

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A win/lose for Apple against Samsung

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Date: Friday, March 7th, 2014, 09:36
Category: Apple, Features, iPhone, Legal, Mobile Phone, Patents

apple-vs-samsung-fightOne has to wonder how long Apple and Samsung will be at each other’s legal throats as yet another judgement has been reached in the patent battle that started in early 2011. I was not really surprised to find that there is actually a Wikipedia article about it, which can bring you up to speed if necessary. The latest set of decisions to come down from Federal Judge Lucy Koh awarded Apple approximately $930 million in damages relating to patent infringements on the part of Samsung. There’s your win. Unfortunately for Apple, Judge Koh denied Apple’s request for a permanent injunction blocking the sales of devices that infringed on those patents in America. There’s your lose.

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Motorola Mobility finds yet another new home…minus a few bits

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Date: Thursday, January 30th, 2014, 19:29
Category: Android, Business, Finance, Google, Mobile Phone, Patents

logo-moto-footerThis Wednesday, Google CEO Larry Page announced that they were selling off its Motorola Mobility division to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. Google had acquired Motorola in 2012 to help boost development of Andoid, with speculation that they would use it to create more of its own branded hardware and ecosystem. At the time, Google paid $12.5 billion to acquire Motorola and its cache of patents. Apparently the division was not fulfilling its promise, hence the sell-off. However, what appears to be a huge loss for Google may not be so bad after all.

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Blackberry suing Typo Products over keyboard design

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Date: Monday, January 6th, 2014, 10:53
Category: Accessory, Cases, Hardware, iPhone, Legal, Mobile Phone, Patents, User Interface

TypoKeyboard-vs-Q10

In the litigious world of  tech companies who scramble daily to protect their patents and intellectual property, you can expect anything claiming to be new and innovative to be hit by a roomful of lawyers saying it isn’t true. Such is the case with the Typo Keyboard case which was getting ready to launch at this week’s CES event in Las Vegas. Typo Products, which was founded by Ryan Seacrest and his business partner Laurence Hallier, was hit with a lawsuit from Blackberry claiming copyright infringement of Blackberry’s own keyboard design.

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Apple patent looks towards “gifting” iTunes media via NFC

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Date: Thursday, August 15th, 2013, 06:19
Category: News, Patents, Software

gift-box-icon

With any luck, you’ll be able to give iTunes media as gifts.

Or, even more conveniently than you do now.

Per AppleInsider and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, an Apple patent application was published on Thursday for a system that allows users to “gift” media content from iTunes and their own library to other iOS device owners, with the transaction facilitated by near-field communication.

The lengthy patent filing, titled “Media gifting devices and methods,” is a fairly straightforward invention that could may have greater implications as to how iOS device users purchase and consume digital content.

At the heart of the invention is gifting, or the simple idea of purchasing a song, e-book or video to give to another person. The document describes two main modes of giving gifts: purchasing media directly from the iTunes store, or sending a copy of already owned media to another device.

Apple already has systems in place for gifting digital media with the iTunes store app, while Passbook-redeemable gift cards can be purchased with the Apple Store app.

Currently, there is no way to gift a piece of owned media directly from one device to another through iTunes.

Thursday’s patent application outlines a number of techniques that iOS device owners can use to give gifts provided by iTunes, all of which involve digital rights management (DRM) and authentication keys. The system is similar to Apple’s established giving methods in that one user purchases a gift and sends it to another person, but instead of using email, a gifter can transfer the purchase to the giftee over NFC.

The first step of a transaction originating from the iTunes Store occurs when the gifter selects an item they want to give away, such as a song. In one embodiment, the next step authorizes a gift charge to be placed on the gifter’s iTunes account, which the recipient will redeem for the associated file.

Downloads in this scenario are handled by the iTunes server, which checks the recipient’s authorization key before pushing out a gift. In some cases, the download will begin automatically, though the invention allows for recipients to retrieve the file at a later time.

The second, and arguably more interesting, of the two scenarios is the gifting of an already-owned media file.

Here, Apple again employs a method of authentication via a central server to determine what can and can’t be downloaded by a recipient device. For example, a gifter can send a copy of a song currently playing on their device by tapping a user interface button. The operations performed after the gift purchase fork into two separate actions.

In one instance, the gifter’s device sends a request to the server for a charge to be placed on their account for a given song. The giftee transfers an authentication notification to the recipient’s phone, which then has permission to download the song from iTunes.

Alternatively, if Internet access is unavailable, the gifter can send a locked version of the media file via NFC to a giftee’s device, along with a DRM or authentication code to be redeemed when network access is reestablished. Both devices will communicate with the server, and the purchase will be deducted from the gifter’s account, while the recipient will have the media file unlocked. Another option when offline is to send just the key without the associated file, which can later be used to download the song.

Also noted are various operations to ensure proper transmission of authorization and DRM keys, including checks with a central server for both gifter and giftee, purchase acceptance codes sent via NFC, and other safeguards.

Finally, the patent filing adds that a number of attachments, such as photos and audio messages, can be sent along with the gift.

It is unknown if Apple will roll out a gifting feature in a subsequent version of iOS, but the service could be a boon for iTunes and content providers as users would have yet another well-implemented media purchasing system to choose from.

Apple’s media gifting patent application was first filed for in 2013 and credits Gloria Lin, Amir Mahood Mikhak, Taido Lantz Nakajima, Sean Anthony Mayo, Michael Rosenblatt and Andrew Hodge as its inventors.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.