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.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE