Apple sensors could help with noninvasive glucose monitoring

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Apple Watch Series 5 LTPO screen
New Apple Watch could have a game-changing new feature.
Screenshot: Apple

Patent applications published Thursday shed new light on Apple’s quest to create a noninvasive blood sugar sensor. Unconfirmed rumors point to the transformative medical feature arriving in this year’s Apple Watch upgrade. If true, it could offer diabetics and others a convenient way to accurately track blood glucose levels.

Apple’s AR glasses look like something you might actually want to wear

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A patent shows what Apple Glass AR glasses might look like.
These possible Apple augmented-reality glasses aren’t all that sexy, but they also aren‘t a huge visor strapped to your face.
Illustration: Apple

Apple filed a patent application that could give a first glimpse of the AR glasses the company is developing. An image included with the filing shows a small, lightweight augmented-reality device about the size of a standard pair of eyeglasses.

The primary focus of the patent is the ways the glasses might detect what its wearer is doing. These will allow the wearer to interact with the head-worn device in a variety of ways.

Making MacBooks and iPads into wireless chargers is a brilliantly dumb idea

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Adding wireless chargers to the MacBook Pro seems a no-brainer.
A MacBook with wireless charging is a cool idea that also comes with disadvantages.
Photo: Apple

You might someday be able to recharge an iPhone just by putting it down on your laptop. MacBook wireless charging an idea with obvious advantages … but real drawbacks, too.

It’s definitely something Apple has been looking into. On Tuesday, the company received a patent for a scheme to build wireless chargers into notebooks, tablets and handsets so they could charge each other (or an Apple Watch).

‘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.