‘Self-healing’ display could make folding iPhone invincible

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Apple filed for a ‘self-healing’ folding iPhone patent on Thursday
Of course a folding iPhone screen won‘t develop a crease. But Apple is still exploring how to make this possible.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple is working on a solution for the biggest drawback of folding displays. The first generation of foldable handsets made by rival companies develop a crease where the screen bends, but Apple engineers want to put a bendable display that includes a self-healing material in a folding iPhone.

Fuel cells could power future iPhones for weeks at a time

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A fuel cell iPhone or Mac is a possibility.
Apple engineers are always looking to the future. Today, it’s patent for a fuel cell for an iPhone or iPad.
Photo: RF._.studio/Pexels CC

Rather than traditional batteries, a future iPhone or Mac might be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. Apple on Monday received a patent for a fuel cell that might be used in future devices. The goal is a device that can go days or weeks without needing to be refueled.

Apple keeps tinkering with the best design for folding iPhone

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A folding iPhone might leave a portion of the screen always exposed.
Apple patented a folding iPhone with a section of the screen ialways available for notifications or other functions.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple has undoubtedly been investigating a folding iPhone for years because it keeps patenting designs. Including one awarded on Tuesday for an iPhone that folds closed while leaving a portion of the screen exposed to display status updates.

Apple explores tracking the veins in your hands for gesture controls

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Gesture controls are enabled by scanning for veins.
Finding the veins in users’ hands is the secret to gesture controls in new Apple tech.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Apple

Apple was awarded a slightly macabre patent for scanning the veins in someone’s hands to determine finger position, thus enabling gesture controls.

This technology could potentially be used in Apple Watch or the smart glasses the company is allegedly developing.

Apple explores crazy ways to add touch to MacBooks

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A touch sensitive area could make a MacBook trackpad movable.
A future MacBook might let you put the trackpad anywhere you want.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Far from resting on its laurels, Apple continues to look for innovative features to build into MacBooks. A patent awarded Tuesday shows the company is considering making the trackpad virtual, so it can be positioned wherever the user likes.

And a second patent goes even further, making the keyboard and the area around it touch-sensitive.

Apple explores flexible batteries for folding iPhones and iPads

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This is an early concept drawing from Apple for a folding iPhone.
This is an early concept drawing from Apple for a folding iPhone.
Photo: Apple

It would be easier to make a foldable iPhone or iPad if it could include a flexible battery. Apple is investigating these as a power source, and was granted a patent on the technology on Tuesday.

In recent years, the company received many patents related to computers built around folding displays. They’re proof that Apple is actively exploring using these in future products.

Apple might turn MacBooks into wireless chargers

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MacBook wireless charger
Wireless chargers built into future MacBook models remains a real possibility.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple hasn’t abandoned the idea of building reverse wireless chargers into its devices. It’s been considering for years the idea of enabling a MacBook to send power to an iPhone without the hassle of wires. And the ability to recharge another handset, or an Apple Watch, was supposed to be a feature of the iPhone 11, but it didn’t happen.

Nevertheless, undeniable evidence that Apple engineers are still working on the technology came to light on Thursday.

Face ID for Mac takes a step closer

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Apple shows what a MacBook with Face ID would look like.
An Apple patent filing shows a MacBook with Face ID.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Evidence emerged today that Apple‘s facial-recognition system will be built into future Macs. Face ID is already a highlight of iPhone and iPad, and there’s solid proof the company is looking into adding it to MacBook and iMac as well.

U.S. International Trade Commission opens patent-infringement investigation into Apple, others

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Apple-Store-logo
Apple is named in the investigation.
Photo: Laurenz Heymann/Unsplash

The U.S. International Trade Commission is opening up an investigation into companies, Apple included, that may have infringed on touchscreeen patents belonging to Irish company Neodron. The ITC also names Amazon in the investigation, in addition to a number of others.

Neodron has asked the ITC to issue cease-and-desist order. This would bar manufacturers allegedly infringing on the patent from selling relevant devices until the matter has been resolved.

Apple AR headset concept improves detection of movement and positioning

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Taeyeon Kim
There’s little room on an AR headset for controls. Apple wants to make them virtual.
Photo: Taeyeon Kim

Interacting with an AR headset would be a breeze if it could project virtual controls into the real world. Apple developed a new method for using cameras to accurately track finger movements, enabling someone to toggle these augmented reality switches and buttons.