Tag - Patent
Apple has come up with a way to control functions of a smartphone, via infrared light. The recently published patent for "Systems and methods for receiving infrared data with a camera designed to detect images based on visible light" (9,380,225) suggests infrared light received by a sensor could be used to transmit data to the device, forcing functions to work in specific ways, or in some applications, temporarily disabling some elements entirely.
Florida resident Thomas S. Ross on Monday filed a lawsuit with the Florida Southern District Court alleging that Apple infringes upon his unpatented 1992 submission of an "Electronic Reading Device" that does imagine a device not dissimilar to the Newton, and is seeking $10 billion in damages and a 1.5 percent royalty on all of Apple's iOS devices. The court filing notes that the plaintiff "was the first to file a device so designed and aggregated," but admits that the patent application was declared abandoned in 1995 because Ross never paid the required application fees.
The company that brought an accusation of patent infringement against Apple may not be in the phone manufacturing business anymore, according to a report. Shenzhen Baili, the entity which successfully got the Beijing Intellectual Property Office to put a ban on the iPhone 6 in the country, is believed to be no longer in operation, with an investigation claiming the smartphone producer "barely exists."
An Apple patent filed in December 2014, but only published on Thursday, could point to future display technology destined for a future Apple Watch. The patent is for a "conformable electronic device," which suggests that it could be fitted to an Apple Watch that could feature a display that curves or wraps around a wrist. Interestingly, the patent was awarded to Apple employees Andreas Bibl and Hsin-Hua Hu -- Andreas Bibl was previously the CEO of LuxVue, a company that specialized in micro-LED technology acquired by Apple in 2014.
Apple has been awarded a new patent on a close-range, walkie-talkie-like peer-to-peer communications network. Like Apple's AirDrop technology that connects devices over close distances for data-sharing purposes, the system would allow people nearby each other to communicate together over an ad hoc network. Specifically, the two (or more) connected users, would be able to speak to each other using the same type of headset, one that could potentially connect to a device over a Lightning port. Using a device like an iPhone, they would be able to see other appear on their local comms network, tap on the other user, and initiate a conversation.
A patent granted to Apple yesterday is supposedly hinting at the possibility the company will include cellular connectivity in a Macbook, among other items. The patent for an "Electronic device with dual clutch barrel cavity antennas" (Patent 9,350,068) largely describes a way for antennas to be mounted within spare space in a large hinge, such as one used to hold the keyboard and display halves of a notebook together.
Apple may be considering creating a version of its iPad Pro stylus that will work with a Mac and offer more ways to interact with on-screen items than the present model, a recently-published patent application suggests. Listed as a "Stylus with Inertial Sensor," the application suggests there to be a version of the Apple Pencil that could detect rotation and movement, allowing for the stylus to be used in a number of different applications, including some that don't involve drawing or writing.
Apple has received a patent for a location-discovery system that could potentially work alongside GPS to help users navigate a town or city in a car. Published today, the patent for a "System with wireless messages to enhance location accuracy" (9,344,989) describes a system of transmitters on various structures that could help a receiver triangulate its position, in a similar way to how beacons can help visitors to a building navigate their way to specific locations of interest.
A recently-published patent application from Apple suggests the company may be looking to make some changes to how HomeKit operates, in a multi-user household. The filing for "Aggregating user routines in an automated environment" describes a way for a smart home system to automatically create routine tasks on a schedule for each resident, managing which functions take place if multiple users are at the same location at the same time.
Non-practicing entity, and the holder of defunct Digifonica's patent portfolio, VoIP-Pal has resumed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple originally filed in February, seeking $2.8 billion in iPhone, iPad, and Mac profits over a "caller attribute classification and routing product design" patent originally created by Digifonica -- a patent similar to the feature used in Apple's Messages app that determines if texts should be delivered through Apple's own servers (seen as blue-colored texts) or routed through normal cellular-provider SMS networks.