Apple has been awarded a patent relating the iPad’s design that appears to literally be for a rounded rectangle, reports ArsTechnica.
The ’286 patent awarded on Tuesday appears to give Apple the exact patent the Samsung and Apple critics have erroneously claimed that the ’889 patent was. The patent includes a number of drawings of the original iPad design, with most of its uniquely identifying features in dashed lines. As stated in the patent description, “broken lines in the Figures show portions of the portable display device which form no part of the claimed design.”
The only unbroken line in all the figures is the outline of the flat, rounded rectangular front face of the device. All the other identifiable features, such as the speaker grille, round home button, display size, Dock connector, or even its curved back, are not covered by this design patent.
Notably, many experts feel that this patent will not be of any use to Apple since it is likely vulnerable to invalidity arguments.
Lea Shaver, Associate Professor at Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law, says “This design patent gives Apple no new advantage, because no one is out there trying to market an iPad lookalike.”
A new patent details how Apple is looking to implement biometric security features such as fingerprint reading and facial or eye recognition in its future devices.
Patently Apple notes that “the race is definitely on to get consumers ready for the next wave of e-Commerce transactions and to ensure that they’re processed securely.”
Interestingly, Apple plans to hide these components behind a window that change from opaque to transparent letting them appear and disappear as needed.
The present disclosure generally relates to techniques for concealing components of an electronic device behind a window that can change between opaque and transparent configurations, such as a polymer dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC) window. Since such a window may be hidden behind a transparent display or color-matched to seamlessly integrate into an enclosure of the electronic device, the components may remain hidden from view while not in use. When desired, the electronic device may expose the concealed components by causing the electronic window to change opacity, allowing the components to suddenly appear as from out of nowhere. In accordance with one embodiment, an electronic device may include a window with a component of the electronic device disposed behind the window. Upon detecting an event associated with the component, a window controller may make transparent, or “open,” the window to expose the component.
The patent also details how fingerprint or iris detection might work. For example, if you attempt to slide-to-unlock the device and authentication is required, you could be prompted to confirm you identity by placing your finder on a scanner next to the home button before being allowed to access the device.
Apple recently acquired AuthenTec a provider of fingerprint security solutions for $356 million. Many believe that we could see this technology in the next release of the iPhone.
A recently discovered Apple patent filing details an illuminated touchpad that would sense an object over its surface and illuminate accordingly.
The invention relates, in one embodiment, to an illuminated input device. The illuminated input device includes an object sensing mechanism capable of sensing a user input over an input surface. The illuminated input device also includes a visual feedback system configured to illuminate the input surface in association with a user input.
The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a method of operating an input device. The method includes sensing an object over an input surface. The method also includes and illuminating at least a portion of the input surface when an object is sensed.
The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a method of operating an input device. The method includes illuminating at least a portion of an input surface when an object is detected over the input surface. The method also includes adjusting the illumination when the object is moved over the input surface.
The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a method of operating an input device. The method includes detecting a user input over the input surface. The method also includes determining an input state of the input device based on the user input. The method additionally includes illuminating the input surface based on the input state of the input device. Each input state having a different illumination profile.
A more detailed description of how the invention works can be read at the link below. Simply put, it appears that Apple may be considering an illuminated trackpad to go alongside its illuminated keyboard.
Apple has been granted a patent for an inductive charging dock, reports PatentlyApple.
Apple’s patent FIG. 12 illustrates a docking station that includes a reradiating antenna and an inductive charging circuit for inductively charging a handheld device. As shown, the dock housing is configured to receive a handheld device. While the dock housing is shown to receive the handheld device in an upright position, other dock housing configurations for receiving the handheld device along its other sides are also possible. The dock housing is further configured to enable charging the battery of the handheld device through an inductive charge coupling mechanism, and to also provide improved wireless communication by integrating the reradiating antenna as shown. The charge circuit is connected between the inductive charge coupling mechanism and a port for receiving power.
The patent was originally filed in Q1 2008. It credits Victor Tiscareno, John Tang and Stephen Zadesky as the inventors and it is numbered 11/970,504.
Apple has filed a patent for an optical stylus that determines its location by capturing an image while in contact with the surface.
In some embodiments, a stylus is provided with an optical sensor, such as a camera, that is used in determining a location and movement of the stylus relative to a touch screen display of a computing device. It should be appreciated, however, that displays other than touch screens may be implemented in some embodiments. The optical stylus may be configured to transmit the location and movement to the computing device. In some embodiments, the optical stylus may be configured to process and/or filter the location and movement information prior to transmission, whereas in other embodiments, raw data may be transmitted.
In some embodiments, the relative position of the optical stylus may be determined based on indicia detectable by the optical stylus. The indicia may further be used in determining the movement of the optical stylus. The indicia may include pixel dependent indicia that are communicated via the pixels displayed by the touch screen or physical or permanent indicia that are physically present on or in the screen or otherwise positioned such that the optical stylus may detect them. Generally, the indicia are imperceptible to the human eye. As such, the touch screen may be encoded without diminishing or otherwise interfering with images displayed on the touch screen.
In some embodiments, the optical stylus may be configured to determine when the stylus is in contact with the touch screen. For example, in some embodiments, the stylus may include a pressure sensor that may be used to determine when the optical stylus is in contact with the touch screen. In some embodiments, the optical stylus may implement optical sensors to determine when contact is made.
The optical stylus may include one or more orientation determining sensors, such as accelerometers and/or gyroscopes. For example, the optical stylus may include an accelerometer. The accelerometer may be configured to aid in movement determinations, as well as a orientation. In particular, the accelerometer may allow for a determination to be made as to a particular angle at which the stylus is being held relative to the surface of the touch screen.
The patent application was filed November 19, 2010.