Apple patent hints at efforts to develop foldable iPhone with OLED display

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Date: Thursday, November 24th, 2016, 05:52
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Patents

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An Apple patent published on Tuesday showed the company’s years-long investigation into a hinged iPhone format, the designs calling for a flexible metal-backed OLED display capable of being folded in half.

The patent, numbered 9,504,170 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and dubbed “Flexible display devices”, describes an iPhone with a foldable full-screen display. Such a device could be folded in half and easily put away.

In order to achieve the flexibility required, the document proposes nitinol, a nickel and titanium alloy known for its elasticity and unique shape memory abilities. Alternative embodiments involve flexible polymers.

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Trademark filing points to MacBook OLED panel being named the “Magic Toolbar”

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Date: Friday, October 21st, 2016, 05:11
Category: Hardware, Mac mini, Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, Patents, Rumor, Touch ID

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Sometimes it’s the patent filings that inform you about the next cool thing around the corner.

With just a week before Apple’s October 27th media event, a newly discovered trademark filing has been unearthed online, suggesting a potential name for the OLED panel on the new MacBook Pro. According to information rounded up, a trademark filed by a company called “Presto Apps America LLC” for a device dubbed the “Magic Toolbar” could be Apple’s name for the touch bar panel on its new MacBook Pro line.

The digging unearthed a company known as “Presto Apps”, which was incorporated on January 22nd of this year and a filing for the trademark on February 5th. The cost of the trademark application was furthermore estimated to be around €16,000.

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Apple patent hints at wearable device sporting electrocardiographic features

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Date: Thursday, August 11th, 2016, 14:20
Category: Apple, Hardware, News, Patents

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Apple may in fact be working on an EEG device or functionality.

A recently published Apple patent application filing for an electrocardiogram device suitable for consumer use reinforces the company’s continued moves into the healthcare monitoring business.

The patent application addresses a wearable, not specifically the Apple Watch, that can be used on any limb of the body, and compensates automatically for differences in electrocardiographic measurements on side of the body, or distance from the heart. The measurement is started by the user pressing a surface electrode on the device, with the measurements and data correction necessary taking place after a period of measurement.

There’s no direct sign of the Apple Watch within the filing and the device is replaced by a generic graphic of a wearable technology in the diagrams.

A rumor on Tuesday suggested that Apple was looking at developing an entirely new piece of health-tracking hardware for a launch in 2017. The report pointed to a product that would “accurately collect users’ personal daily life including heart rate, pulse, blood sugar changes and other information.”

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Samsung patent caught using Apple Watch figures in descriptions

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Date: Friday, August 5th, 2016, 16:38
Category: Apple Watch, Hardware, News, Patents, Samsung, Wearables

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Ok, well, this is just plain embarrassing.

After years of legal patent-based squabbles between Apple and Samsung, a recently published Samsung patent application surfaced entitled “Wearable Device” featuring form factor patent figures that were actually Apple Watch designs

The Samsung patent, first discovered by Patently Apple, presents patent figures that are clearly Apple Watch designs with its classic backside charging mechanism that Samsung doesn’t incorporate and various Apple band styles. Nowhere in the patent do they reference the designs as being from Apple.

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New patent points towards possible Touch ID sensor under screen of next-gen iPhone

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Date: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016, 10:45
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Patents

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A newly-published patent shows that Apple may be going the way of a bezel-free iPhone wherein the display extends all the way to the edges of the handset.

The patent describes three different technologies that can be used for fingerprint sensors, and says that the third of them – ultrasonic imaging – would not only allow the reader to be embedded into the display, but would also be even more accurate than the capacitive sensor used by Touch ID today.

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Apple patent points to smarter, more automated HomeKit functionality, interoperability with homes, vehicles

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Date: Friday, May 13th, 2016, 07:45
Category: Developer, HomeKit, iOS, News, Patents

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This could turn into something interesting.

A recently published patent filed by Apple indicates as to Apple’s intention for an “automated environment” in which HomeKit would be able to track the routines of users and implement automated behaviors based on those habits.

As an example, Apple points to the idea of a heating system being enabled at a particular time or when a particular temperature is met. Apple refers to a central “controller” being used to detect these factors, such as an Apple TV remote or other mobile devices. The devices being controlled are referred to as “accessories” in the filing.

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Apple patent focuses on wired/wireless headphones

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Date: Thursday, April 21st, 2016, 08:43
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Patents

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This could turn into something nifty.

An Apple patent application published Thursday suggests that the company is continuing work on a Lightning-equipped audio product some expect will replace wired EarPods if and when iPhone ships without a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The patent, entitled “Audio class-compliant charging accessories for wireless headphones and headsets” details a headphone device and supporting hardware capable of seamlessly switching between wired and wireless listening modes.

Apple’s idea seems to work around an electrical connector compatible with both digital and analog signals, requirements the proprietary Lightning protocol satisfies. An ideal connector would employ a plurality of contacts to transfer power and audio data — via differential signaling — from a host device to the headphone. This arrangement allows for a single cable to both charge and control the device, eliminating the potential for ground loops that compromise audio fidelity.

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Patent application hints at greater use, functionality for Touch ID button

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Date: Thursday, February 4th, 2016, 12:58
Category: News, Patents

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This could lead to something interesting.

A recently published patent application describes how the Touch ID home button could gain additional functionality, allowing it to perform different actions in response to different fingerprints, as well as adding pressure sensors to provide it with 3D Touch type functionality.

The patent hints at how it might allow different fingerprints to access a device, but restrict their access to particular apps and for a limited time. The obvious application here would be allowing a child to use only specific apps and/or limit the time they are allowed to use a device.

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Apple patent suggests move away from 3.5mm headphone jack, towards Bluetooth or Lightning connector, for next-gen iPhone

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Date: Wednesday, January 13th, 2016, 08:59
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Patents

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As frightening as the idea of an iPhone without the headphone jack may be, a recently published Apple patent suggests that the idea may be fairly likely.

A new patent awarded to Apple on Monday suggests that Apple may convert from the classic 3.5mm headphone jack to Lightning and Bluetooth. The patent seemingly describes a method of getting higher-quality and higher-volume audio from speakers built into slimmer devices.

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Apple files patent for self-healing materials to be used in devices

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Date: Thursday, December 10th, 2015, 08:46
Category: Hardware, News, Patents

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This could potentially turn into something extremely cool and useful.

An Apple patent application on Thursday suggests a method of portable device weatherproofing that buries sensitive electrical device contacts beneath a layer of self-healing elastomer, allowing connectors to penetrate without leaving lasting aesthetic or structural damage.

The patent, entitled “Electronic device with hidden connector” details a method of protecting electrical device connections commonly exposed to the elements with specialized self-healing elastomeric material. Probes attached to power, data or audio feeds are able to puncture the elastomer, which re-seals itself upon their extraction.

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