Apple job listing confirms Apple is investigating using flexible displays in future products

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Update: Apple appears to have removed the job listing, but we grabbed a screenshot above and below.

Apple-job-listing-flexible-displays-01We know that Apple has been investigating various methods of incorporating flexible displays in its mobile devices thanks to a handful of patents and patent applications published over the last year. Flexible display rumors have picked up steam even more since rumors of an iWatch from Apple, and just today we came across two new Apple patent applications detailing flexible devices that could change states as a user bends or twists the device. We all know Apple patent applications have never been a good indication of future product releases, but now Apple has came right out and stated in a job listing that it is indeed considering flexible displays.

Apple Inc. is looking for a Display Specialist to lead the investigation on emerging display technologies such as high optical efficiency LCD, AMOLED and flexible display to improve overall display optical performance.

The job listing seeking a Sr. Optical Engineer was posted earlier this month and looks for a display expert to investigate “high optical efficiency LCD, AMOLED and flexible display.” Specifically, Apple is requesting someone to “Analyze the trade-offs between design, process, optical performance, and implementation feasibility,” hinting that the company is considering introducing new, advanced display technology in the future: Read more

More Apple patents detail completely flexible devices that change as they bend

iPhone-Flexible display

These are certainly not the first flexible display related patent applications that we’ve seen from Apple. A few different Apple patent applications have received attention in recent months, including one for a slap wrist-style bracelet with a flexible display, and others for curved and flexible displays in various iOS device-like form factors. Today we’ve come across a couple of recently published Apple patent applications filed as early as September of last year that further show Apple’s work with flexible displays (via UnwiredView).

The first patent application, titled “Flexible Electronic Devices” is pretty straight forward: Apple is interested in methods of providing not only flexible displays but also flexible components like batteries, circuit boards, and the housing of the device itself. Apple describes a device that could respond accordingly depending on how a user was manipulating the flexible display. The patent applications provides examples such as the device shutting off and entering standby mode when folded, or a user answering a call or changing volume: Read more

Intel announces 2014 Thunderbolt update with 4K support; opens door for Retina iMacs?

Retina iMac mockup via MacSpoilers

Retina iMac mockup via MacSpoilers

Today, Intel announced a new version of its Thunderbolt technology that will ship with devices in 2014. The new Thunderbolt technology supports up to 20Gbps throughput, which is up from the 10 Gbps supported by the current version of Thunderbolt.

Notably, the new technology supports 4K resolutions, which could open the door for even higher-resolution Mac displays. Perhaps, this is the technology that Apple needs to work with in order to begin a Retina display rollout for its all-in-one desktop computer, the iMac, or even Mac Pro compatible Thunderbolt displays.

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How the next-generation iPhone with taller display may position landscape keyboard

Earlier this week, we broke the news that Apple’s upcoming version of iOS 6 is fully scalable and aware of taller, larger iPhone displays. The display resolution of 1136 x 640, a resolution we first reported in May that Apple is testing for future iPhones, shows a seemingly perfectly tweaked version of iOS 6. As we revealed earlier, this means five rows of home screen icons and tweaked native app user-interfaces.

We have been playing around more with the iOS simulator, which we tweaked to work on different resolutions, and we noticed some additional notable UI changes for the taller resolution. As we noted several months ago, the 1136 x 640 resolution on the next-generation iPhone will mean that the display comes in just around at a 16:9 proportion, an uncommon resolution for a mobile phone. Because of this, some have wondered how certain user-interface elements would be presented.

Many interface elements that are displayed while using the iPhone in vertical orientation will remain unchanged. The most important element, perhaps, is the iPhone’s keyboard. In portrait/vertical view, the keyboard on the next-generation iPhone will likely not change.

However, in landscape, it will:

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Apple researching universal touchscreen remote with adaptable user interface for future TVs

A patent application published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office earlier today reveals Apple is flirting with the idea of a universal touchscreen controller capable of controlling multiple devices including a “television, a video tape player, a video disk player, a stereo, a home control system, or a computer system.” The patent application is titled “Apparatus and Method to Facilitate Universal Remote Control” and was filed Sept. 30, 2011.

The patent application’s background covers many of the issues with current controllers for televisions and the devices mentioned above. It noted current universal remotes are “complex to operate” and unable to adapt to incorporate every command or control functionality supported by a device or future device. It also mentions the fact that users are often “confronted with multiple” remotes, which is the classic “table full of remotes” scenario described by Steve Jobs when talking about the Apple TV at D8. The patent application explained:

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Apple exploring 3D iOS interface with motion sensing gestures

The United States Patent & Trademark Office published an Apple patent application today (via PatentlyApple) detailing new 3D GUI concepts and touch-free, motion sensing gestures that would allow you to simply wave your hand over a device equipped with proximity sensors. This follows a patent application published in July that explores similar 3D gestures and user-interfaces, and another in September detailing 3D display and imaging technology that could lead to Kinect-like gestures on future Apple products.

The image to the right (larger version is below) shows a 3D UI environment consisting of two sidewalls, a back wall, a floor, and a ceiling. As you can see, 2D objects are posted to the back and sidewalls, while 3D objects rest on the floor of the environment. The patent mentions a “snap to” feature that appears to allow objects to move from one surface to another by changing the orientation of the 3D environment. In other words, the user’s perspective of the UI, which PatentlyApple said could be imagined as the “view from an imaginary camera viewfinder,” would change when rotation of the device is detected by its gyro sensor or accelerometer:

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Peter Misek rumor roundup: Sharp developing iTV display, along with sharper iPad 3 display

A few months ago Analyst Peter Misek reported that iOS and OSX would become one in 2012.  That kind of flies in the face of Mac OS 10.8 that’s been hitting everyone’s Web logs. He’s also talked about Apple opening up super data centers all over the world for a confusing Netflix service that mostly already exists.

With that boulder of salt consumed, AllThingsD quotes Misek as saying that Apple has selected Sharp specifically to manufacture new TFT LCD panels for the upcoming iTV, an Apple-branded television set rumored to boast Siri as the flagship feature (here and here).

The analyst speculates the iTV could ship mid-2012:

Over at Jeffries, analyst Peter Misek suggests that Sharp is retooling a production line at its factory in Sakai specifically to manufacture modified amorphous TFT LCD panels that will be used in the so-called iTV. If all goes well, the line should be ready for commercial production by February of 2012, which means we could see Apple’s take on the TV by midyear.

The report also mentions some manufacturers of current televisions are becoming nervous of what exactly iTV might be (we know Sony is one of them) and hope to adapt quickly so they don’t suffer the same fate vendors in other  industries face, such as the smartphone folks. It should be noted that Misek has been wrong one too many times, so you’re cautioned to apply skepticism to his thinking. The iTV reportedly isn’t the only thing Sharp will be supplying displays for…

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Apple releases EFI firmware update 2.2 for MacBook Pro and 1.3 for Mac mini, fixing Thunderbolt issues

After releasing an EFI firmware update for the MacBook Air earlier this week, Apple has released an EFI update for both the MacBook Pro and Mac mini this afternoon. The MacBook Pro update is version 2.2 and Mac mini version 1.3, fixing compatibility issues for the upcoming Thunderbolt Display and bringing numerous Lion fixes — and adding Lion Internet Recovery on the MacBook Pro.

Hit up Software Update on your Mac to get downloading. (via The Next Web)