Patent Stories June 20

AAPL: 145.01

-1.33

Apple has today been granted a patent for augmented reality apps for interior design and animated movie posters. The patent award comes the day after we learned more about plans for an AR app in partnership with Swedish furniture company Ikea.

Apple recently announced ARKit as part of iOS 11, providing hands-on demos at WWDC …

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Patent Stories May 25

AAPL: 153.87

0.53

Apple has patents for virtual keyboards on MacBooks dating back as far as 2009, but a continuation patent application published today shows that the company is still exploring the idea.

A virtual keyboard was of course a headline feature of the iPhone when it was launched in 2007, and Apple also introduced the feature to the latest MacBook Pro models in the form of the Touch BarPatently Apple illustrated the patent using a Lenovo Yoga Book, showing what is in effect a giant Touch Bar replacing a physical keyboard.

If the idea fills you with horror, as it does me, we may not need to worry too much …

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Patent Stories May 22

AAPL: 153.99

0.93

Apple has been accused of violating the patents of a Boston-based company through its launch of Apple Pay. Universal Secure Registry CEO Kenneth Weiss says he ‘was the first in the space, and the secure payment technology that he developed goes right to the core of Apple Pay.’

In an interview, Weiss says that the patents cover all three key elements of Apple Pay.

Kenneth P. Weiss, received 13 patents for authentication systems that use a smartphone, biometric identification such as a fingerprint and the generation of secure one-time tokens to conduct financial transactions.

While it’s not unusual for more than one company to be simultaneously working on the same technology, Weiss says that in this case both Visa and Apple were aware of his technology four years prior to the launch of Apple Pay …

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Patent Stories May 11

AAPL: 153.95

1.32

An Apple patent published today describes using iMessages instead of voice to interact with Siri in environments when speaking wouldn’t be practical.

This could span both ends of the spectrum, from very noisy environments like construction sites, where your voice cannot be heard, to very quiet ones like libraries, where you would disturb people by speaking. It would also be useful for people who don’t feel comfortable talking to their phone in public …

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Patent Stories April 5

AAPL: 144.02

-0.75

Allowing Siri access from the lock screen is a potential security threat that has, in the past, allowed someone to access personal data like photos. Additionally, Siri will respond to any command given by anyone when your device is unlocked.

Apple thinks it has a solution, using a combination of a special phrase and authenticating your unique voice to ensure that Siri responds to you and only to you …

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Patent Stories April 4

AAPL: 144.77

1.07

I wondered soon after the launch of the 2016 MacBook Pro whether Apple might have plans to bring the Touch Bar and Touch ID to a new Magic Keyboard. A new Apple patent application shows that the company is at least exploring the idea.

As ever, the language of the patent is dense, but the illustrations include a standalone keyboard as well as a laptop one.

In some embodiments, the device may also include a processing unit positioned within the housing, and a primary display positioned at least partially within the housing and configured to display a graphical-user interface executed by the processing unit. In some embodiments, the display is an organic light-emitting diode display. The electronic device may be a keyboard device.

As I noted previously, this would seem to address the greatest weakness of the Touch Bar …

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