All items tagged with "patent"

Apple’s collaborative search patent makes it easy to check in with friends

Apple's patent will help you find a coffee shop convenient to all your friends.

Apple’s patent will help you find a coffee shop convenient to all your friends.

You can add all the high-tech features you want, but ultimately one of the best ways to make people buy gadgets is to ensure that the devices are the same ones already used by their friends.

That’s the concept behind a newly-published patent application, titled, “Collaborative Location-Based Search Results.” It describes a way in which multiple iPhone users in different locations can search for shared information — say, finding a restaurant or movie theater that’s equally convenient for every member of a group of friends to reach.

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Ericsson takes lawsuit against Apple to Europe, wants up to $725 million per year

Apple could be about to hand over a whole lot of cash. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple could be about to hand over a whole lot of cash. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Claiming that Apple is infringing on several of its patents, Ericsson has ramped up its legal efforts against the company by expanding lawsuits to cover Germany, Britain and the Netherlands.

“Apple continues to profit from Ericsson’s technology without having a valid license in place,” said Kasim Alfalahi, chief intellectual property officer at Ericsson, adding that he is confident the courts will resolve the matter fairly.

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Patents suggest Apple TV wand full of Cupertino magic

"Apple TV, turn on!" Photo: Warner Bros.

“Applus TViticus!” Photo: Warner Bros.

The high-tech “magic wand”-style controller rumored to ship with the refreshed Apple TV this summer may be the culmination of close to a decade’s R&D on the part of Apple.

Is this the “simplest user interface you could imagine” that Steve Jobs told Walter Isaacson about when he claimed he had “finally cracked” the way to build a perfect TV?

If so, we’ve combed through the patents to reveal how it might work.

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Apple patent explains how USB-C will make every other connector obsolete

USB-C: The one connector to rule them all. Photo: Apple

USB-C: The one connector to rule them all. Photo: Apple

Apple still hasn’t owned up to inventing USB-C, the brand new connector featured on its 12-inch MacBook — but Apple patents have all but tied the technology to Cupertino. The latest describes how a do-it-all connector that fits USB-C’s description is going to make every other port you’re using obsolete.

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Apple Watch’s interchangeable band mechanism is now patented

Photo:

You can change your Apple Watch band quickly and easily. Photo: Apple

One of the neat features of the Apple Watch is the ability to quickly and drastically change its appearance by sliding different straps on and off the body of the device.

Achieved by way of a cunning three-contact mechanism, it’s undoubtedly a cool solution and — to paraphrase Steve Jobs — boy, has Apple patented it!

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Apple wants to make its Maps app directions a bit more human

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

Apple wants to overhaul its mapping navigation system, providing a solution that is more reminiscent of a real human navigator, according to a patent application uncovered by Cult of Mac today.

In doing so, the company could improve its long-maligned Apple Maps app, while also gaining ground on rivals such as Google.

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Future iPhones could advise your friends to quit bugging you

iPhone patent would take a note out of the I.M. playbook. Photo: Kiwihen

iPhone patent would take a note out of the I.M. playbook. Photo: Kiwihen

The iPhone is more advanced than it’s ever been, but there’s one thing Apple’s smartphone can do no better than the Nokia 3310 I had when I was a teenager: stop you getting calls at inappropriate times.

That may be about to change, however, as a newly-published patent describes an Instant Message-type system whereby future iPhones could automatically broadcast their user’s status — essentially advising others on whether it’s a good time to ring or not.

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This wacky Samsung smartwatch looks like something He-Man would wear

"I have the power! smartwatch!" Photo:

“I have the power! smartwatch!” Photo: Filmation Associates/Mattel

Samsung’s not had too much luck with smartwatches, but a newly-published patent application shows that it’s not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

The patent describes what is less a traditional watch than a wristband or He-Man-style manacle. It features a wraparound widescreen display, able to function in both bent and flat states, and describes its possible applications as multimedia viewing and communication.

After all, you never know when you’ll need to summon Battle Cat to help in your ongoing war with Skeletor and his cronies!

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Apple’s new gesture tech could bring Star Wars-style Force controls to Mac

These may not be the droids you're looking for, but it could be the patent you want. Photo:

These may not be the droids you’re looking for, but it could be the patent you want. Photo: Lucasfilm

Apple may have already used the name “Force Touch” for its touch-sensitive tech, but if you’re a sci-fi fan who’s ever dreamed of wielding The Force to control your Mac with an Obi Wan-like sweep of the hand, you could be in luck.

Apple today published a patent for a technology which describes in-air 3D gesturing which allows it to accurately establish not only where a user’s hand might be, but also what it is doing. As such, it opens up the possibility of creating detailed hand poses for triggering different actions.

Throwing up a pair of hand horns to get AC/DC blaring out on iTunes? Yes please.

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Force Touch could make your next Mac keyboard a virtual one

Photo: Matt Buchanan CC

Typing on your iMac may one day be like using your iPad. With one crucial difference. Photo: Matt Buchanan/Flickr CC

Apple’s magical Force Touch trackpad — which uses haptic technology to make the new MacBook trackpad feel like it’s clicking, even when it’s not — was unveiled at the company’s recent “Spring Forward” event.

But a patent application published today suggests that this is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the interest in haptic technology on the part of Tim Cook and co. The application describes a whole virtual keyboard for the iMac, meaning that users could type onto a flat glass or metallic plate, but would still be able to feel the individual keys.

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