O'Grady's PowerPage » Patents

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

Posted by:
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.

(more…)

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

Posted by:
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.

(more…)

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

Posted by:
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.

(more…)

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

Posted by:
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.

(more…)

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

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

fuelcelliphone6

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.

(more…)

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

Posted by:
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.

(more…)

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

Posted by:
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.

(more…)

Apple patent explores Gorilla Glass 4, “fall sensor” for next-gen iPhone

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014, 18:20
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Patents

senoriphone6

Gorilla Glass 4 and a new motion sensor might be the thing that saves your iOS devices from nicks, dents and scratches in the future.

Per Macworld and Forbes, Apple has recently published a patent that covers a “protective mechanism for an electronic device” that would use a motion sensor to tell the processor when your phone is in a freefall. The processor would then “alter the center of mass of the electronic device” so your phone wouldn’t fall on its most sensitive parts like the screen or camera.

(more…)

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

Posted by:
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.

(more…)

Apple patent filing hints at NFC, digital wallet technologies

Posted by:
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.

(more…)