We asked you yesterday to tell us how exciting you found the possibilities opened up by Apple’s patent for twin rear-facing cameras, and the results were very clear: 70.4% of you selected either ‘very exciting’ or ‘take my money.’
Patent January 8
Patent January 7
We heard a report in November that Apple was testing an iPhone 7 model with dual rear cameras, and a patent application published today not only confirms that Apple is indeed exploring the idea, but reveals some extremely exciting possibilities with such a setup.
The most basic of these, noted by Patently Apple, is effectively optical zoom. By fitting two separate camera modules behind the lens, and creating a single lens with both standard and telephoto sections, you’d be able to switch between two different focal lengths. For the first time, you’d be able to take a zoomed-in photo without cropping away pixels to end up with a lower-resolution image.
But the possible applications described in the patent go way beyond this …
Patent December 10, 2015
While Apple didn’t make any claims about water-resistance when it launched the iPhone 6s/Plus, submersion tests showed that the company has clearly been working hard in this area – with the new phones still working after a full hour underwater. But water will always get in through ports like the Lightning and headphone sockets, and a new patent application by Apple suggests that it may have a way to fix this …
Patent December 3, 2015
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has today published an Apple patent application for incorporating displays into woven fabric. While the patent describes a variety of possible uses, some of the language effectively describes use in Apple Watch bands, with several of the drawings also pointing to this.
A woven fabric includes light transmissive fibers woven into the fabric to provide a visual display. The fabric may be used as a tether to releasably connect a portable electronic device to a user. The light transmissive fibers may transmit light to convey information to the user.
One specific part of the application describes a case where “portable electronic device includes a timekeeping device,” and a list of potential devices includes “electronic wrist watches” … expand full story
Patent November 5, 2015
The USPTO has today published a patent application by Apple to allow a specific fingerprint to activate a ‘panic mode’ on an iPhone, designed for use when the owner feels threatened, is in danger or is being forced to unlock their phone.
In its most basic form, placing a specific finger on the Touch ID button would place the iPhone into a special locked-down mode, blocking access to personal data store on the phone – perhaps simulating a brand new phone. In that way, if a street robber forced you to unlock your phone before handing it over, your data would be safe.
But the patent application goes far beyond this … expand full story
Patent October 28, 2015
A patent troll is currently suing Apple, Samsung and half the automotive industry – as well as other companies – over the use of a vague, decade old patent that covers operating certain functions of a vehicle, like starting the engine and locking/unlocking doors, through a “watch” – now known as a “smartwatch”.
Intellectual Capital Consulting (LCC), the plaintiff in the lawsuit (which we embed below), claims that the defendants are using patented technology in smartwatch products and software that they are selling or contributing to sell. expand full story