All items tagged with "patent"

Apple invents eco-friendly, flame resistant material for future devices

Do you like your iMac crispy? Photo: The Partners/Kevin Lan

Do you like your iMac crispy? Photo: The Partners/Kevin Lan

A patent published today shows that Apple is investigating new halogen free, flame-retardant materials for use in its devices.

According to Apple, only about 12% of plastics currently contain flame retardants. An increased use of such materials would improve the safety of electrical wiring and electronic devices, and help reduce the number of fires caused by electronic devices as a result.

Halogenated flame retardants have been found to be effective in many plastics, but these are increasingly regulated as a result of environmental concerns. Since sustainability is a big topic for Apple, the company therefore wanted to discover a material that would possess similar fire-retardant qualities, while also not being damaging to the environment.

Tuesday’s patent describes a material with these qualities, that also produces only negligible amounts of toxic substances while burning. As per Apple, the material could be used in devices including the iMac, MacBook Pro, iPhone, and iPad.

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Is Apple building James Bond’s car remote into your iPhone?

James Bond takes his BMW for a spin in Tomorrow Never Dies. Photo: United Artists Pictures

James Bond takes his BMW for a spin in Tomorrow Never Dies. Photo: United Artists Pictures

Your iPhone can make payments, control your smart home, and track your health — and soon it might be able to control your car, as well.

A new patent published Thursday describes a way of using the iPhone’s geo-location capabilities to intelligently monitor and control certain car functions, based on “geofences.”

Likely pairing with Apple’s vehicle-based OS, CarPlay, the patent notes how your car could be tracked in relation to your iPhone — with appropriate signals, sent using Bluetooth LE, to execute functions like locking your car and arming its alarm when you are a certain distance from the vehicle.

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The ‘iRing’ Tim Cook mocked could be made a reality at Microsoft

It wasn't good enough as a concept for Apple, but since when has that stopped Microsoft?

It wasn’t good enough as a concept for Apple, but since when has that stopped Microsoft?

Tim Cook may have laughed at Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White’s “iRing” prediction, but someone at Microsoft was clearly scratching their chin, intrigued at the idea.

That’s based on a recently published patent application from Microsoft showing how the company has investigated a finger ring as a possible future wearable device. Microsoft’s impressive-sounding wireless ring could be used as an input device either to control a cursor on a mobile device such as a tablet, smartphone, or even a head-up display like Google Glass.

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Apple wins LTE patent case against WiLan

gavel-court-hammer-judge-lawsuit

A U.S. judge has ruled in Apple’s favor in litigation filed against the company by Canadian patent licensing company WiLan, reports Reuters, after the judge issued a public statement on the case Wednesday afternoon.

Apple was being sued for supposedly violating two LTE patents held by WiLan, but a summary judgement from Judge Dana Sabraw ruled that the patents were invalid and note infringed.

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Beyond touchscreens: Apple eyes touch-sensitive holographic displays

Photo: Star Wars

Photo: Star Wars

Apple is investigating touch-sensitive holographic displays for future Macs and iOS devices, according to a new patent published today.

As described, the patent would emulate the current touch-based interface for iPhones and tablets, only using near-field proximity in place of physical touch.

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How your iPhone could alter notifications based on your location

iphone-in-bag

Future iOS devices could vary user alerts based on where you are at any given moment.

Call alerts are all well and good but — even on the Apple Watch, when they’re being delivered directly to your wrist — it’s likely that there will be situations when users won’t be aware of them, and could miss important calls or alerts as a result.

Apple’s trying to crack that problem with a new patent published Tuesday, describing a “Self adapting alert device” that would vary the volume or style of user notifications to your iPhone or Apple Watch depending on where you are at the time.

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Apple finds a way of making sapphire screens even tougher

Gene Munster says not to expect sapphire screens except on the 64GB iPhone 6.

Apple’s new patent application shows how Apple might further strengthen its sapphire crystal using an “ion implanting” method.

Whether or not the upcoming iPhone 6 will sport a sapphire crystal display or not is something we’ll have to wait to find out for sure, but the ultra-strong material used by many high end watch manufacturers is certainly something Apple has spent a lot of time investigating.

Some of those investigations have led to a new patent application published today, revealing how Apple plans a technique for strengthening glass by using an “ion implanting” method as opposed to the kind of chemical coatings used for, say, Corning’s Gorilla Glass.

According to the application, the reason for this is that the kind of traditional chemical strengthening techniques used on glass screens might not be effective when used on materials like sapphire.

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Apple patents Samsung’s Galaxy Note-style radial menus for iOS

(Picture:

Samsung’s Galaxy Note has used radial menus before. But don’t worry: Apple got there first. (Picture: TechnoBuffalo)

Apple has been awarded a new patent for adding moving radial menus to both Macs and iOS devices.

The use of radial menus would give Apple an alternative to the pull-down menus currently used in most applications — allowing context-specific menus and submenus to be created at optimal positions close to a user’s mouse cursor or, in the case of an iPhone or iPad, their finger.

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Picture this: Apple granted historic patent for original iPhone camera

iphone-steve-jobs

We’re all so used to using our iPhones as our primary cameras these days that it’s difficult to remember what it was like in the dark days before the device came along.

Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a new series of Apple-related patents, including an historic 2008 filing for an Apple camera. While the patent covers both a standalone camera (something Apple hasn’t done since the QuickTake camera launched in 1994) and a camera integrated into a PDA, it is likely that this is the patent which covers the original iPhone.

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Apple investigating FaceTime hardware for the enterprise market

facetimeiconmakesnosense

Could Apple be working on a higher-resolution version of FaceTime for use in enterprise?

A new patent published Tuesday suggests that it’s at least something the company is looking at, as it describes a multi-view video conferencing camera system that uses scalable video encoding. The patented device, which was first applied for back in June 2012, could compete with Microsoft’s 360 degrees Roundtable conferencing technology, as shown below.

Given Apple’s recent deal with IBM to make hardware and software for businesses, and its successful focus on enterprise under Tim Cook, this could certainly be a valuable area for Apple to explore — particularly since it could conceivably work with a range of Apple devices, including Macs, iPads and iPhones.

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