Patent Suggests AR Functions Coming to iPhone Measure App

Apple is looking to incorporate AR technology into the iPhone’s Measure app in a bid to improve accuracy and allow automatic annotation of the object you’re interested in. That’s according to a new patent, seen by AppleInsider.

In future, pointing your iPhone camera at an object could automatically get you an on-screen notification of its measurements. It will do it through AR, and it will do it in part through Machine Learning on different types of objects. “Automatic measurements based on object classification,” is a newly-revealed patent application. It’s concerned with how to determine which object you’re interested in, then how measure it accurately. The patent application is particularly broad, including “devices, systems, and methods that obtain a three-dimensional (3D) representation of a physical environment.” The detail generated is based on a whole series of different sensors and measurements to do with “depth data and light intensity image data.”

Patent Suggests Apple Looking to Make iPhone Display Glass Thinner

Apple is looking to make the glass used for the iPhone’s display thinner. That’s according to a patent spotted by AppleInsider.

In a patent granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday titled “Insert molding around glass members for portable electronic devices,” Apple says you can have the same glass cover that can stick out from the rest of the enclosure like curved glass, but while also maintaining the thinness of the main glass sections across the screen. Apple’s solution is to incorporate a glass structure around the edge of where the glass cover will sit. This glass section acts as an intermediary between the main enclosure and the thin glass cover.

Future MacBooks Could Offer Multiple Haptic Areas, Patent Suggests

Upcoming MacBooks could incorporate multiple discrete haptic areas. That’s according to a new patent, spotted by Patently Apple.

Apple’s granted patent generally relates to electronic devices with one or more input areas that also function to provide spatially localized haptics via the Taptic Engine. “Spatially localized” haptics (or haptic output) generally refers to any haptic signal, e.g., haptic output, that is tactilely perceptible to a person touching a particular active region of the electronic device, but imperceptible outside that region. The surface area over which a single haptic output is perceptible is referred to as a “discrete haptic region.” There may be any number of discrete haptic regions in an input area of a laptop computing device. The discrete haptic regions may be separated from each other, or they may overlap. Either way, they remain discrete haptic regions each associated with an individual haptic actuator. An “input area” is a structure or surface configured to accept a user input.

Apple Wins a Patent for Displays with Multiple Refresh Rates

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent for displays with multiple refresh rate modes. It was spotted by Patently Apple.

Apple notes that displays may be operable at a native refresh rate that is equal to the highest refresh rate at which the display has full resolution. When operating at the native refresh rate, each row of pixels may be scanned sequentially. Displays may also be operable in a high refresh rate mode with a high refresh rate. In the high refresh rate mode, the display may operate at a refresh rate that is twice the native refresh rate, three times the native refresh rate, or four times the native refresh rate (as examples). The native refresh rate may be 120 Hz and the high refresh rate may be 240 Hz, as one example. The native refresh rate may be 60 Hz and the high refresh rate may be 120 Hz, 180 Hz, or 240 Hz, as another example.

Patent For Dual Pro Display XDR Now Published

Apple has developed a Dual Pro Display XDR. A patent for the invention, published by the US Patent & Trademark Office, was spotted by Patently Apple.

Apple’s invention covers a support stand for multiple displays. In their patent background they note that when users use multiple displays in a workspace, the displays are generally supported by multiple different individual stands or by independently-movable arms that extend from a single support point. These individual stands or arms unnecessarily take up large spaces, are often aesthetically unpleasing, overcomplicated, and have inefficient redundant mechanisms. When multiple displays are used on independent arms, they can be difficult to align in a smooth and precise way due to inconsistent counterbalancing and arm lengths. When multiple displays are used on a single support, they cannot be effectively adjusted relative to each other about a vertical axis.

Big Tech Sues Patent Office Over Legal-Related Rule

Apple, Cisco, Intel, and Google have sued the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over it’s recent rule that it can refuse to adjudicate patent claims while litigation about them is pending in court.

The rule, which was introduced by the USPTO in March and became final in May, deals with the agency’s obligations around inter partes review (IPR) — a sort of expert-court process for assessing whether patent claims are valid. USPTO says deferring to an ongoing court case is more efficient than setting up a parallel review internally.

Apple Patent Shows Folding Device With TouchBar

A patent application filed today shows a folding Apple device with a TouchBar and an exposed strip for notifications.

If desired, touch sensors (e.g., a two-dimensional touch sensor), buttons, or other input-output devices may be formed in a region such as region on rear surface R of housing (e.g., so that a user may supply input to one of these regions in response to adjacent content being displayed on protruding portion.

This is probably my own bias showing (because I think folding phones are gimmicks) but I think Apple is going for a folding iPad. That makes sense to me.

Apple Patents Suggest Company Doubling Down on Bendable Designs

Apple appears to be turning an increasing amount of attention towards developing bendable designs for the MacBook and MacBook Pro. At least that’s what a new patent suggests to AppleInsider.

“Planar hinge assembly,” US Patent No 10,642,318, chiefly describes how such a design could apply to a MacBook Pro-style device. “A personal computing device comprises a single piece body having a seamless overall appearance and that includes a bendable portion that is capable of having a smoothly curved shape,” it says. “The single piece body includes a first part capable of carrying a display suitable for presenting visual content, and a second part that is capable of carrying an input device suitable for accepting an input action.” Apple is careful to always describe “a personal computing device,” and its details can also apply to “a smart phone cover or a tablet computer device.” But it all hinges, so to speak, on what’s referred to as “a multi-state bending assembly.”