Apple explores tracking the veins in your hands for gesture controls

By

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

By

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

By

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

By

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

By

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

By

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

By

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.

Apple spitballs iPhone with wraparound display

By

Every bit of this concept iPhone is covered in wraparound display.
Apple’s own designers dreamed up this iPhone with a completely wraparound display.
Photo: Apple

Apple designed an iPhone that’s all touchscreen. Front, back, top, bottom and sides — every bit of the exposed surface is a wraparound display.

And the description shows engineers put quite a bit of thought into the proposal.

Court denies Apple’s appeal in VirnetX patent-infringement case

By

Apple wants patent trolls to stop ‘gaming the system’
The lesser-spotted patent troll.
Photo: Andrew Becraft/Flickr CC

Cupertino’s seemingly neverending legal battle with patent troll VirnetX Holding Corp. took another turn this week when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied Apple’s request to reconsider an original patent-infringement decision.

VirnetX and Apple have been fighting in courts for a decade over patents related to FaceTime and other secure communications. VirnetX, which doesn’t produce any products, previously won more than $503 million in damages, but courts subsequently threw out the award.

Here’s how Apple Car might eliminate blind spots

By

Here's how Apple Car might eliminate blind spots
Apple's got some fascinating ideas for Apple Car.
Photo: Aristomenis Tsirbas/Freelancer

Currently, drivers only have the rearview and side mirrors of a car to let them know what’s going on behind them. But a new Apple invention describes an upgrade — that may eliminate blind spots by projecting mirrored images of the surrounding environment onto the window or windshield.

This could give the driver more contextual information about their surroundings, depending on where they are.