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

virtual-home-button

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

applelogo1

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

iphoneheadphonejack

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

applelogo1

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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Apple patent application highlights active shutter system to protect devices from spills, contaminants

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Date: Friday, November 27th, 2015, 07:23
Category: Hardware, iPad, iPhone, News, Patents

applelogo1

Somewhere down the line, this could really come in handy.

An Apple patent application published Thursday describes a powered shutter system that automatically blocks access to speaker, microphone and other iPhone and iPad port openings, protecting the sensitive components within.

The patent application, known as Apple’s “Electronic devices with housing port shutters” application, describes a system of electrically controlled shutters disposed over the openings of critical components like speaker boxes and microphones. At the command of an onboard logic board, these shutter mechanisms can quickly block acoustic pathways — portholes — from damaging physical contaminants, potentially saving hundreds of dollars in repair costs.

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Recent patent shows Apple’s exploration into fuel cell-based devices with weeklong battery lives

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Date: Thursday, September 3rd, 2015, 07:19
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Patents

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This could lead to some extremely cool stuff.

A patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday shows that Apple is looking into using hydrogen fuel cell technology to power its portable devices.

Text and diagrams depict not only a fuel cell stack for generating power, but related aspects like connections with the portable device and a cartridge system for adding fuel.

The diagrams make reference to a MagSafe connector, implying that technology would be oriented towards MacBooks, and claim that a device could run for “days or even weeks” without refueling.

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Apple patent shows potential use of shifting mirrors to help camera/optical stability

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Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2015, 08:16
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Patents, Pictures

losmirrors

When in doubt, use mirrors.

A recently published patent application posted on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office web site shows that Apple has revealed a new concept that would offer improved optical image stabilization using mirrors.

The patent, entitled “Mirror Tilt Actuation,” describes an image sensor for small, multifunction devices like an iPhone that would compensate for the user’s hand movement to improve picture quality.

Apple introduced optical image stabilization in its products last year with the debut of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The smaller iPhone 6 accomplishes this through software, while the larger iPhone 6 Plus also uses hardware OIS for superior image taking capabilities.

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Apple panics GoPro stock price with recently-released wearable camera patent

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Date: Wednesday, January 14th, 2015, 15:06
Category: Hardware, News, Patents, Wearables

gopro

Wearable camera maker GoPro’s stocks took a 12 percent dive yesterday as a result of Apple expressing an interest in its market.

Per Macworld and PatentlyApple, an Apple patent application for a wearable camera was approved, the end result sending GoPro’s stock price tumbling. The application itself details a GoPro-like wearable perfect for action shots and underwater recording. Apple even takes aim at GoPro in the patent filing.

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