Patent February 23
Patent February 11
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’) …
Patent February 4
In the patent battle that feels as if it will never end, Apple has today asked the Supreme Court not to review Samsung’s latest appeals request in the two companies’ ongoing patent feud. Back in December, it was announced that Apple and Samsung had reached a $548 million settlement, but with a catch. Samsung said in its part of the agreement that it reserved the right to reclaim reimbursement should any position of the trial be modified…
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 …
Patent February 2
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 …
Patent January 26
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 …