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Apple's laptop camera latch patent

updated 09:45 am EDT, Tue October 24, 2006

Three new Apple patents

Apple today was granted three new patents, including a patent for a laptop 'camera latch' and one 'Assigning meanings to utterances in a speech recognition system,' which was originally filed on February 18, 2004. The patent, which references spoken utterances in a speech recognition system, may be related to Apple much rumored "iPhone," according to MacNN blogger Neo. The US Patent & Trademark Office also published Apple's newly granted patent for "Method and apparatus for mapping objects to multiple tables of a database. Finally, Neo writes about the laptop latch patent: "Apple launched their first laptop with an integrated camera in October 2005 without using this granted patent method. Whether Apple will ever choose to implement a variant application of this invention in a future laptop design is unknown at this time. However, one of the advantages associated with this method that's interesting to note is that the latch noted in this patent could be pivoted between a first position (as shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B) and a second position (as shown in FIGS. 2C and 2D)."




by MacNN Staff

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  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    There's a better way

    This latch camera is a bad idea. Like the screen hinges that Apple had so much trouble with, it's too easily broken and, besides, who wants to klutz with a latch on a laptop when magnetic latches work much better.

    A much better idea would be a circular lens assembly built into the top of the screen body. Rotated forward, it'd face the user. Rotated 90 degrees it'd be a highly secure way to block the camera lense. (And for businesses that value security, it could be locked there with a clip.) Finally rotated forward, it could aimed in an arc at a conference speaker or someone being interviewed. In the hands of a clever designer, it could even rotate up and down a bit, so we wouldn't have to position the camera using just the screen position. Secure inside the case, there'd be no danger of it getting broken.

    This idea is less expensive, more robust and more versatile than what the Apple patent describes. I just wish Apple would hurry up and adopt it. The last thing I want in a laptop is a camera that only looks at me.

    --Mike Perry, Inkling Books, Seattle

  1. ccsccs7

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Patent

    Hey, better patent that, Mike! ;-)

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