New AirPods patent reveals exactly how seamless Bluetooth pairing method functions

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 12, 2017

A new patent application for “Wireless audio output devices,” published Thursday by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), describes exactly how Apple’s new W1 chip inside AirPods enables zero-configuration Bluetooth pairing. In a nutshell, the charging case that comes with AirPods doubles as a physical pairing interface.

Aside from a built-in battery, the case features its own microprocessor and communications stack, a motion-detecting lid for starting the seamless pairing process with an Apple device and a physical button for manual Bluetooth pairing with non-Apple hardware, like Android handsets. Read More

 

Apple patents tiny thru-holes in OLED display, HUD windows & more slick tech for full-face iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 10, 2017

A new patent No. 9,543,364 for “Electronic devices having displays with openings” has been awarded to Apple this morning by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). First filed for in February 2015, this newly granted patent reveals more ways iPhone 8 will outclass Android rivals.

The invention would basically put some common components typically found on the front face of the phone behind the display assembly.

What components are we talking about?

Well, stuff like the earpiece, forward-facing cameras, Touch ID and various sensors. Integrating such parts behind the display assembly would help design a truly edge-to-edge device. Apple is thought to be working on such designs for its upcoming OLED-based iPhone 8 refresh. Read More

 

Withings products removed from Apple Stores following Nokia patent row

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 26, 2016

iOS-compatible smart bathroom scales, thermometers, fitness watches and other HomeKit-enabled smart accessories by French health tracking company Withings have been removed from both online and brick-and-mortar Apple Stores following the latest legal spat with Nokia.

Wait, what do Withings products have to do with the Nokia patent row, you ask. Well, Nokia bought Withings in April 2016 for a reported $192 million, integrating their products into its Digital Health unit led by former Withings CEO Cedric Hutchings. The removal was first reported by MacRumors. Read More

 

Nokia suing Apple for patent infringement in the US and Europe

By Cody Lee on Dec 21, 2016

Nokia announced on Wednesday that it has filed a number of complaints against Apple in Germany and the United States, alleging that its products infringe on Nokia patents. The company says it reached the decision to take action after several years of trying to reach an agreement with Apple to cover the use of its intellectual property. Read More

 

Apple patent would integrate Siri into Messages to assist with tasks via bot-style commands

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2016

You’ve been able to ask Siri to send messages on your behalf for a few years now and with iOS 10, Apple’s expanded Siri capabilities to third-party apps like mobile payments. But if a new patent for a “Virtual assistant in a communication session” that the company filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is anything to go by, the virtual assistant could soon be integrated deep into Messages, assisting users with peer-to-peer payments, scheduling dinner and providing other chat bot-style interactions within message threads. Read More

 

Apple granted a patent for augmented reality-enhanced maps and navigation on iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 8, 2016

We know from Tim Cook’s remarks that Apple dabbled in virtual reality systems before deciding that augmented reality is the way to go. As opposed to virtual reality which completely immersed you in computer-generated environments, augmented reality overlays computer imagery on live video feed of the real world, enhancing or augmenting the images of your real-life surroundings.

Apple’s latest patent award for augmented reality maps that surfaced today in the database of the United States Patent & Trademark Office underscores the company’s commitment to augmented reality technologies. Read More

 

New Apple patent would use heart rate data to identify Apple Watch owner

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2016

Currently, you can protect your Apple Watch with a passcode or set it to automatically unlock itself whenever you unlock your iPhone. But if a newly published patent application from the Cupertino firm is anything to go by, the wearable device may soon be able to seamlessly identify the owner with its built-in heart rate sensor.

As published by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), the invention titled “User identification system based on plethysmography” proposes using a pulse oximeter to intelligently identify biometric characteristics of a user’s vasculature. Read More

 

New Apple patent would embed light sensors into the display, hints at iPhone 8 technology

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 11, 2016

The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) today awarded Apple a patent describing a process for embedding light-sensing sensors into a mobile display. The invention, titled “Electronic devices with display-integrated light sensors,” potentially paves the way for next year’s iPhone.

Apple’s new patent specifically mentions the ambient light and proximity sensors, which are found on the front face of the device, as being integrated into the display assembly.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and pundits in the know, like Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, the iPhone 8—or whatever a 2017 iPhone (or Tenth Anniversary iPhone) ends up being called—should be a major design departure from prior models as it would supposedly get rid of the chin and forehead bezels by integrating Touch ID and the front-camera along with other sensors directly into the display.
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Appeals Court reinstates Samsung owes Apple $119.6 million in slide-to-unlock lawsuit verdict

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 7, 2016

A three-judge panel was actually wrong to toss out of the window the $119.6 million verdict in a longstanding lawsuit that involves Apple’s patented slide-to-unlock gesture that the iPhone maker had sued Samsung over a few years back.

As Bloomberg reports, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has now ordered the trial judge to consider whether the judgment should be increased “based on any intentional infringement by Samsung.” Read More

 

Apple granted patent for a Touch ID sensor that could work through an iPhone display

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 4, 2016

If you’ve been waiting for the next iconic design since the release of the black-clad iPhone 5, this year’s iPhone 7 probably feels like a slight disappointment. Apple is widely thought to have saved its best innovation and industrial redesign for the Tenth Anniversary iPhone next year which could embed the fingerprint sensor, FaceTime camera and sensors behind the display.

As revealed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Apple has now been granted a patent for a fingerprint-sensing technology that could work through the display itself, paving the way for an iPhone with the full-screen face design. Read More

 
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