Apple exploring panic mode for Touch ID

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 5, 2015

Apple has submitted a new patent application with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) Thursday that would make the iPhone more secure by allowing users to place their device in a lock-down mode simply by putting a certain finger on the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

Titled “fingerprint activation of a panic mode of operation for a mobile device,” it describes unlocking a Touch ID device with a specific finger to activate a special lock-down mode that would make personal data stored on the device inaccessible to the user, or activate different modes of operation based on the particular fingerprints. Read More


Apple researching completely switch-less Mac keyboard with Force Touch feedback

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 3, 2015

Apple’s new Magic Keyboard is awesome—if you don’t believe me, check out my colleague Jeff Benjamin’s excellent video review—but it lacks Force Touch feedback currently found on the Apple Watch and iPhone 6s display and MacBook trackpads.

But Apple seems to be interested in bringing this technology to a future Mac keyboard, according to a patent granted to the company on Tuesday by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). Read More


iPhone chips infringe University of Wisconsin’s tech, Apple faces $862M in damages

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 14, 2015

The Apple-designed, TSMC/Samsung-manufactured A7, A8 and A8X mobile chips that power the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices released since 2013 have been found to infringe technology patents owned by the University of Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).

As a result, Apple is now facing a damages payout of $862.4 million, Reuters reported yesterday. The aforesaid chips power the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 4. Read More


New patent points to lusciously animated Apple Maps with photorealistic visual effects

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 29, 2015

Three-dimensional Flyover aerial photography in Apple Maps is cool, but wouldn’t it be great if things like water, foliage and other dynamic objects were animated based on touch, motion and sound?

That’s exactly what Apple appears to be researching if a new patent application uncovered by AppleInsider is indicative of future Apple Maps features. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday awarded the iPhone maker a new patent on “Non-static 3D map views.” Read More


Apple working on fuel cell tech that could give devices weeklong battery life

By Cody Lee on Sep 3, 2015

Apple continues to show interest in using hydrogen fuel cell technology, as evidenced in its latest patent filing. On Thursday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published a patent titled “Fuel Cell System to Power a Portable Computing Device.”

The invention appears to be, at least initially, targeted at the MacBook, as the filing mentions MagSafe several times. But last month, the British firm Intelligent Energy proved the tech can be shrunken down, by showing off an iPhone with a hydrogen fuel cell. Read More


Germany’s highest appeals court invalidates Apple’s slide-to-unlock patents

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 25, 2015

Germany’s highest appeals court has ruled that Apple’s famous slide-to-unlock patents are invalid, VentureBeat reported Tuesday.

The ruling basically reaffirmed a 2013 decision in which the lower Federal Patent Court rejected Apple’s claims on the grounds of ‘prior art’. The German courts discovered that Apple’s slide-to-patent involves a similar technique as that featured on a smartphone released before the iPhone by a Swedish company called Neonode. Read More


Samsung to appeal to Supreme Court in Apple patent case

By Cody Lee on Aug 19, 2015

As expected, Samsung is taking its patent battle with Apple to the United States Supreme Court. The San Jose Mercury News points to a new court filing from the company, which voices its intent to ask the Supreme Court to hear its case.

In 2012, Samsung was found guilty of infringing on multiple Apple patents and was ordered to pay Apple more than $1 billion in damages. That amount has since been cut in half, but Samsung is hoping to get the sum further reduced. Read More


Court denies Samsung’s latest appeal request in ongoing patent case

By Cody Lee on Aug 13, 2015

The US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday denied Samsung’s request to reconsider the court’s decision to uphold damages awarded in its patent infringement case, reports the San Jose Mercury News. The damages amount to more than $400 million.

This is just the latest turn in what seems to be a never-ending patent case between Samsung and Apple. In 2012, a jury found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple’s patents and awarded the iPhone maker $1 billion in damages, which has since been cut in half. Read More


Apple’s smudge-detection patent prevents an iPhone screen from accidentally turning off

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 4, 2015

When you bring up an iPhone to your ear to take or receive a phone call, the handset taps the built-in proximity sensor near the ear piece to detect that you’re holding your phone up and then turns off the display to prevent spray input from your face.

But sometimes a smudge from your finger can block the path of light back to the phone’s sensors, prompting the device to shut down the display because it thinks you’re holding the device near your head.

A new invention Apple was granted a patent for was published Tuesday by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), describing a smudge-detection method designed to prevent an iPhone screen from accidentally turning off due to smudges. Read More


Apple patents stylus that scans objects in 3D and simulates textures via haptic feedback

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 30, 2015

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is adamant that Apple is working on an advanced stylus accessory for a rumored 12-inch ‘iPad Pro,’ an assumption based in no small part on patent applications Apple has filed for in years past.

The latest indication that the iPhone maker is indeed researching styli technology comes in the form of a new patent application published Thursday by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) which proposes an advanced texture-sensing stylus design with a built-in camera. Read More


Apple engineers 2mm-long high-resolution camera that could be suitable for use in Apple Watch 2

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 24, 2015

9to5Mac recently learned from sources in the know that a second-generation Apple Watch will integrate a tiny camera into the top bezel for conducting FaceTime video conversations from your wrist. The report, short on details, has left many questions unanswered and prompted watchers to scratch their head in curiosity.

The logic goes: if Apple couldn’t develop a non-protruding camera for the latest iPhones, how on Earth is the company supposed to fit one into such a tiny wrist-worn device?

Having faced the very same engineering challenges, rival Samsung has taken the easy route by embedding a camera into a Gear’s band rather than the smartwatch’s body.

Though not the prettiest of solutions, it is in fact functional—to a certain extent. But can you really imagine a camera bulge on an Apple Watch band? Yeah, me neither. Thankfully, Apple appears to have shrunk a high-resolution camera into a tiny module that could fit inside an Apple Watch. Read More


Apple working on TV remote with built-in fingerprint sensor

By Cody Lee on Jul 23, 2015

The US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published three patent applications from Apple relating to biometric input devices. As noted by AppleInsider, all the filings mention a device with a built-in fingerprint sensor that could be used in a future TV remote.

It’s not hard to imagine the biometric possibilities of a remote control for a TV or set-top box. The device would be able to identify users—paving the way for custom profiles, settings and parental controls—and could support multi-finger shortcuts and simple gestures. Read More


Future iPhones could get rid of unsightly antenna bands as Apple invents a new metallic material

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 22, 2015

In addition to a protruding camera, those antenna bands represent the most controversial design feature of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Blame the unsightly bands on the law of physics.

Though iPhones and cellular iPads and iPods would have decidedly looked sleeker without the bands, the radio waves cannot penetrate metal so an all-metal iPhone would be quite useless despite a stunningly seamless appearance.

But if a patent application Apple filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office is an indication, future iPhones could easily get rid of the antenna bands on the back as Apple has apparently invented a metallic looking material that doesn’t interfere with the functioning of RF antennas. Read More


Samsung asks appeals court to reconsider infringement ruling

By Cody Lee on Jun 17, 2015

Samsung on Wednesday asked the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision to uphold a ruling that will cost it $400 million in damages for infringing on Apple’s design patents, reports San Jose Mercury News. In a recent court filing, the company asks for a rehearing with a full 12-judge roster, rather than the 3-judge panel the court used last month.

In 2012, a jury ruled that several of Samsung’s products infringed on Apple patents, and awarded the iPhone-maker $1 billion in damages. That number has been reduced down to $548 million in various post-trial proceedings, and Samsung is trying to eliminate another big chunk—some $400 million—by getting the verdicts regarding design patent infringement tossed out. Read More


Apple patents hybrid ‘Fusion’ keyboard with gestures, forceful pressure and more

By Christian Zibreg on May 26, 2015

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday awarded Apple a patent for a hybrid multitouch keyboard that would incorporate touch-sensitive mechanical keys with two-position mechanical switches for activating tasks at different levels of pressure.

Titled ‘Fusion keyboard’, the U.S. Patent No. 9,041,652 explores a touch sensitive mechanical keyboard for detecting touch events and key depressions. Read More


Apple working on glasses-free 2D/3D display with adaptive eye-tracking

By Cody Lee on May 21, 2015

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a new Apple patent application on Thursday entitled “Spatially interactive computing device.” The filing describes an advanced display system that can output both 2D and 3D images at the same time, without the need for specialized glasses.

More specifically, the display uses multiple layers to provide differing output to a viewer’s left and right eyes, as well as adaptive eye-tracking courtesy of a built-in image sensor. These technologies allow the display to produce 3D images to one user, or multiple images to different users, simultaneously. Read More


Court rules iPhone looks can’t be protected, adjusts Samsung’s $930 million penalty

By Christian Zibreg on May 18, 2015

Monday, The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said it’s ruled that Samsung violated Apple’s design patents but did not infringe on the Cupertino firm’s trade dress intellectual property.

As reported by Reuters, the appeals court has now reversed part of Apple’s $930 million verdict versus Samsung, ordering that the penalty be adjusted accordingly. Read More


Touch ID could gain new gaming features, scrolling and more

By Cody Lee on May 16, 2015

Touch ID could get significantly more useful in future iOS devices, according to an Apple patent filing revealed this week. The filing, first spotted by Patently Apple, is extremely lengthy (combines several patents) and offers an overview of where Apple thinks fingerprint technology is headed.

One of the more interesting inventions is a portable touch display with integrated fingerprint sensors. So instead of touching the Home button, you could simply touch a designated part of the display to unlock your device or authenticate something. Apple says it could even offer tactile feedback. Read More


Apple awarded patent for Beats Mixr over-ear headphone design

By Christian Zibreg on May 12, 2015

Tuesday, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) awarded Apple a new patent grant which covers the overall design of the Beats Mixr over-ear headphone.

As you know, the Cupertino company acquired Beats, the audio hardware maker and the streaming-music provider, back in 2014 in a transaction valued at $3 billion.

Officially titled “Audio listening system”, the patent covers the ornamental design for an audio listening system. As shown and described, it specifically details a design feature allowing users to rotate each driver up and behind their ear, a prominent feature valued mostly by DJs. Read More


Ericsson sues Apple in UK, Germany and Netherlands over alleged patent infringement

By Christian Zibreg on May 8, 2015

Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson has extended its patent lawsuit against Apple to Europe, filing separate lawsuits in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands over alleged patent infringement, Reuters reported Friday.

Ericsson is alleging that Apple has been using its patents without a legitimate license. It unloaded legal barrage against the iPhone maker over the same matter in the United States in February 2015.

The world’s largest maker of wireless networks, Stockholm-based Ericsson owns many patents covering 2G, 3G and 4G LTE cellular technology. Read More

Page 112345...