April 21

AAPL: 105.97

-1.16
Stock Chart

With Apple widely believed to be planning to drop the headphone socket in the iPhone 7 in favor of Lightning-connected and wireless headphones, a patent application published today describes how a single set of headphones could switch smoothly between wired and wireless modes without any interruption of playback.

There’s of course nothing new in headphones that support both wired and wireless use – many Bluetooth headphones come supplied with a plug-in audio cable that allow them to fall back to wired use if they run low on battery power or you just want the higher quality a wired connection typically delivers.

But switching between wired and wireless use typically has a couple of issues, and Apple’s patent aims to solve both of them …

expand full story

April 20

AAPL: 107.13

0.22
Stock Chart

Apple has agreed to pay $24.9M to settle a long-running lawsuit alleging that Siri violated a patent owned by a New York institute and exclusively licensed to a company in Dallas. The patent predates the launch of Siri by four years.

The Albany Business Review notes that Apple was sued not by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which holds the patent, but by Dallas-based Dynamic Advances, which licensed it. The company reportedly receives $5M now, and the balance after meeting unspecified conditions. In return, Apple gets a license to use the patented technology for three years.

The settlement means that the patent trial, due to take place in New York next month, will no longer proceed. However, that may not be the end of it …

expand full story

April 5

AAPL: 109.81

-1.31
Stock Chart

With Force Touch so far implemented on MacBooks, the Magic Trackpad 2 and the iPhone 6s (with 3D Touch branding), it’s no surprise that Apple has plans for the Magic Mouse to get in on the act.

The last update to the Magic Mouse, back in October, swapped the removeable batteries for a curiously placed Lightning-charged built-in one, and added a new pairing method – but as yet there’s no way to use Force Touch features. That looks set to change as Apple highlights the missing functionality in a new patent granted today …

expand full story

9to5toys 

April 1

AAPL: 109.99

1.00
Stock Chart

A patent application spotted by Patently Apple suggests that the Apple Watch turning on its display as you raise your wrist could be just the first of many supported gestures. Pointing, waving and even extending pinky and thumb in a ‘phone me’ gesture could all be used to initiate actions on either the Watch itself or a paired iPhone.

While voice and touch input can be an effective way to control a device, there may be situations where the user’s ability to speak the verbal command or perform the touch gesture may be limited.

This [patent] relates to a device that detects a user’s motion and gesture input through the movement of one or more of the user’s hand, arm, wrist, and fingers, for example, to provide commands to the device or to other devices […] The device can interpret the gesture as an input command, and the device can perform an operation.

Apple gives a number of illustrative examples of such gestures …

expand full story

March 30

AAPL: 109.56

1.88
Stock Chart

The endless patent battles between Apple and Samsung took an interesting turn this week when Apple claimed that the most recent court ruling violated the Seventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: the right to trial by jury.

Back in 2014, Apple was awarded $119.6M when Samsung was found to have violated three of the five patents in dispute. That award was overturned last month when an appeals court ruled that Samsung didn’t infringe one of the three patents, and declared the other two invalid.

The problem, explains Reuters, is that the appellate court didn’t just refer to the trial court record in reaching its conclusions, it also considered new evidence …

expand full story

March 29

AAPL: 107.68

2.49
Stock Chart

The Smart Connector Apple introduced on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and used again on the latest 9.7-inch model, may become more capable over time. An Apple patent granted today reveals possible plans to allow multiple devices to be simultaneously connected to the port, using stacked connectors.

Interestingly, while the much-loved MagSafe power connector was removed in the 12-inch MacBook, it seems that Apple hasn’t altogether abandoned the idea, as the patent describes using magnetic retention to stack the plugs – with one drawing showing what looks very much like a MagSafe Lightning plug …

expand full story

9to5google 

March 21

AAPL: 105.91

-0.01
Stock Chart

The never-ending battle between Apple and Samsung over an alleged design patent violation is going all the way to the Supreme Court. Apple previously formally requested that the Supreme Court not grant the case a hearing, but the decision to hear the case was issued this morning.

expand full story

March 16

AAPL: 105.97

1.39
Stock Chart

March 15

AAPL: 104.58

2.06
Stock Chart

Update: Some are suggesting that the patent could simply be for tiny shifts that would allow the iPhone camera to fill in missing detail that falls between pixels, though it’s unclear how this would differ from a technique already in use by Hasselblad. Thanks to James for the Hasselblad link.

iPhones have long allowed you to create panoramic images by taking multiple photos which the camera stitches together. But an Apple patent granted today could allow future iPhones to take panoramic photos effectively with a single shot. Apple describes this as ‘super resolution mode.’

The reality would be that the iPhone would still take multiple photos to switch together, but the process would be automated so the user experience would be taking just one shot …

expand full story

electrek 

March 10

AAPL: 101.17

0.05
Stock Chart

A patent application describes how the Apple Watch and iPhone could work together to detect medical emergencies like a heart attack, and automatically call 911.

While the patent wording doesn’t specifically name either the Apple Watch or iPhone, the meaning of one electronic device cooperating with another one seems pretty clear.

An occurrence of one or more “care events” is detected by an electronic device monitoring environmental data and/or user data from one or more sensors. The electronic device transmits one or more alerts regarding the detected occurrence to at least one other electronic device. In some cases, the electronic device may cooperate with at least one other electronic device in monitoring, detecting, and/or transmitting.

Apple says that the setup could detect a range of emergencies, and take appropriate action depending on the severity – ranging from sending an email to a family member at the low end to calling 911 in the most urgent of cases …

expand full story

March 8

AAPL: 101.03

-0.84
Stock Chart

When Apple signed an exclusive deal to use the superstrong alloy liquidmetal way back in 2010, there was a lot of speculation about how Apple might use it. The only immediate answer we saw was in the SIM ejection tool supplied with iPhones.

While some had expected Apple to use liquidmetal for product casings, the high cost of the material seemed to rule that out, at least in the short-term. There’s also been no sign of the super long-lasting batteries some had suggested.

But Apple clearly does have a use for it beyond SIM eject tools, last year renewing those exclusive rights – and a patent granted to the company today suggests one possible reason why …

expand full story

February 27

AAPL: 96.91

0.15
Stock Chart

An appeals court on Friday overturned a ruling that would have forced Samsung to pay $120 million in damages to Apple for patent infringement, reports Reuters. In this specific case, one of several patent battles between the two companies, Apple claimed that Samsung infringed on its “quick links” patent.

expand full story

February 23

AAPL: 94.69

-2.19
Stock Chart
9to5toys 

February 11

AAPL: 94.27

-0.72
Stock Chart

iPhones could in future automatically sound louder or quieter notification alerts depending on the level of background noise. A patent application published today describes how both an iPhone and Apple Watch could periodically measure ambient sound levels, adjusting notification volumes to an appropriate level.

The patent notes that while users can manually adjust the volume of alerts, many don’t do so because they forget or because it’s too much hassle. The patent suggests that the primary sound reading would be taken from the Apple Watch (aka ‘a wearable device’) …

expand full story

February 4

AAPL: 96.35

1.87
Stock Chart

An intriguing Apple patent application published today 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 goes into a great deal of detail about the technology, with little information as to what it might be used for, but Apple does give a couple of clues. One use of different fingerprints described is to allow someone else to use your iPhone or iPad, 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 …

expand full story

February 3

AAPL: 96.35

1.87
Stock Chart

Last month, it was reported that patent troll VirnetX is seeking $532 million in damages from Apple, claiming that the company has taken its intellectual property without permission. The suit focused on a variety of VirnetX patents relating to technology used in creating Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs. VirnetX said that Apple’s own VPN technology, as well as its iMessage and FaceTime services, infringe on its patents. After another week of hearing, the East Texas Federal District Court has now unanimously ruled that Apple owes VirnetX $625 million in damages.

expand full story

9to5google 

February 2

AAPL: 96.43

-0.91
Stock Chart

Apple was today granted a patent for detecting touch-free gestures at close range, the patent language suggesting that the approach could build on the capabilities of multi-touch and 3D touch to respond to fingers hovering close to an iPhone or iPad display, as well as use on keyboards and trackpads.

The patent describes using sensors similar to the proximity detectors used to disable accidental touch input on the iPhone screen when you’re holding the phone to your face during a call. Unlike longer-range gesture technologies like Kinect, the system would detect ‘hover events’ just above the surface of the screen …

expand full story

January 26

AAPL: 99.99

0.55
Stock Chart

While those of us who would happily trade thinner iPhones for better battery-life may be in the minority, even fans of ultra-thin phones expressed disappointment at the camera bump in the iPhone 6 and 6s. The problem Apple faced is that the laws of physics determine just how thin you can make a sensor and lens arrangement for any given aperture while retaining quality. But a patent application originally filed in 2013, continued last July and granted today could provide a solution.

Instead of the usual flat sensor, the patent describes a ‘spherically curved photosensor’ that would allow the distance between the lens elements and the sensor to be reduced, allowing for a thinner camera module …

expand full story

January 25

AAPL: 99.44

-1.98
Stock Chart

According to a report out of Bloomberg, notorious patent troll VirnetX is seeking $532 million from Apple, claiming that Apple has taken its intellectual property without permission. VirnetX holds a variety of patents relating to technology used in creating Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs. The company claims that Apple’s own VPN technology, as well as its FaceTime and iMessage services, all infringe on its patents.

expand full story

electrek 

January 14

AAPL: 99.52

2.13
Stock Chart

An Apple patent application published today reveals an idea for an interesting variation on the magnetically-closed Milanese Loop band that allows it to do much more than simply secure the Apple Watch on your wrist.

By using a careful arrangement of magnet orientations, the band can transform itself into a protective case when travelling, a stand on a bedside table or desk – or a Mac accessory …

expand full story

Submit a Tip

cancel

Submitting a tip constitutes permission to publish and syndicate. Please view our tips policy or see all contact options.

Powered by WordPress.com VIP