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Take That, Google Glass: Apple Granted Patent for Head-Mounted Display
Apple could eventually get into the head-mounted-display space, according to a granted patent. _Image: Free Patents Online_
Google’s been flaunting its Google Glass prototype left and right, but it may not be the only company getting into the head-up-display business. Apple was granted a patent for a head-mounted display apparatus on Tuesday. Originally filed back in 2006, the patent, titled “Peripheral treatment for head-mounted displays,” describes how images could be projected to generate a peripheral display that would create “an enhanced viewing experience” for the user.
Apple calls its implementation a head-mounted display (HMD) rather than a head-up display (HUD), and it’s designed to display video information in front of one’s eyes. Apple’s device would have one or two small CRT, LCD or OLED displays embedded in a wearable headset like a helmet, pair of glasses, or a visor, according to the patent description.
With two displays, stereoscopic 3-D images can be shown to the user for a comfortable, immersive viewing experience. The HMD could also be used for augmented reality, transmitting a transparent image superimposed on the world in front of you using reflective mirrors. In the patent, Apple provides a few examples of where this would be useful: in surgery applications where CAT scans or MRI images could be combined with the surgeon’s field of vision; for military personnel, firefighters and police, who could use the display to show tactical information (see “Terminator”); and for scientists and engineers who could benefit from viewing stereoscopic CAD drawings.
The way Apple’s patent deals with peripheral vision could help keep the user from experiencing feelings of motion sickness, which other HMDs can sometimes cause. Users would also be able to make individual adjustments to the device so that it properly fits their eyes. The patent description also mentions that video and image information could be received from a portable external source, like an iPhone, which could divide the images into one frame for each eye.
Google was granted a patent for its eye-directed Glass technology in June. Early prototypes of Google’s wearable computing solution will be available to select developers (who dropped $1,500 for a pair) beginning in early 2013, with mass availability scheduled for sometime in 2014.
Google’s patent is very specific to Google Glass — it’s for a wearable display with an integrated finger-tracking input sensor. Apple’s on the other hand, seems pretty broad, covering a variety of head mounted display technology implementations.
It will be interesting to see if Apple ever does leverage this patent — and how it could wield this patent against competitors. http://dlvr.it/1pNh4j
Apple patents wraparound display with no bezel http://goo.gl/5Rk3V http://www.gadgetsboy.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/applewraparounddisplay.png The new patent application for the iPhone shows a completely new form factor for the smartphone, with a wraparound display. The phone patent shows a curved device with no-bezel, it looks a lot like the packaging you would normally get if you bought a pair of earphones. Google+
New Post has been published on http://www.gadgetsboy.co.uk/apple-patents-wraparound-display-with-no-bezel/
Apple patents wraparound display with no bezel
We have seen quite a few different Apple patents this past month, including a technology that would stop your smartphone from dropping on its screen. While most of these patents won’t be implemented in an actual device, it is clear the company is working on some new features for their devices.
The new patent application for the iPhone shows a completely new form factor for the smartphone, with a wraparound display. The phone patent shows a curved device with no-bezel, it looks a lot like the packaging you would normally get if you bought a pair of earphones.
Apple may be taking some queues from the design of the fourth and fifth generation iPod Nano with this wraparound display too. The iPhone will also be able to have displays on both sides, the example given by Apple is two people could watch a videos or view photos.
The phone will still be designed with the same premium materials, despite its funky feel. The phone could either come with Apple’s signature cold aluminium or possibly transparent glass with oleophobic coating to keep fingerprints at bay. This sort of glass is already used on watches, and this design could be used on Apple rumoured iWatch.
Flexible displays currently only exist in the world of Samsung and Corning, but Apple could invest in Corning as they have done previously to get their hands on the technology. This would make the wraparound iPhone almost unbreakable.
While we don’t expect anything to really come from this, especially considering Apple’s almost snail-like speed in reinventing the iPhone, it does show Cupertino is presenting and developing new ways to interact and design smartphones.
What we are really interested in is all these patents seem to be collectively working towards some kind of iWatch model design, with the slap-bracelet and now the wraparound display, we could see something innovative once again from Apple.
New Apple Patent Hints at Wireless Charging for the iPhone and iPad
A new Apple patent discovered byAppleInsider shows plans for new product packaging and that’s… pretty boring. What isinteresting about the new packaging though is that it may hint at future where iPhones and iPads would charge wirelessly.
The new packaging patent for the iPhone and iPad shows “unobtrusive packaging” which means the package would just show the actual product itself, not a picture. This sort of “unobtrusive packaging” isn’t new of course (heck Apple uses it for the Magic Mouse) but they typically don’t allow for charging to take place. In the patent, Apple shows an option of using an RF power transmitter where there’s a base station that transmit power to the receivers (which would be the packaging itself) and charges everything back up. That means these iPhones and iPads could potentially have a home where they could be charged wirelessly.
Of course with patents being patents and iPhones and iPads selling as they do, who knows how useful this method of wireless charging inside the packaging will be. One thing for sure: it sure would be nice to charge your iPhone without any wires. [Apple Insider]
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How Apple’s iTravel Patent Could Threaten Android’s NFC Future
Apple was granted a patent for checking-in and handling travel scheduling and accommodations. _Image: Free Patents Online_
There’s no end in sight for the smartphone patent wars. Apple was just awarded a notable patent relating to NFC, and if the patent is ever wielded against competitors, consumers might lose out the most.
Apple was granted a patent for travel-related check-ins using near-field communications (NFC) technology Tuesday. In the patent, titled “System and method for transportation check-in,” Apple describes how a portable electronic device could “store and transmit travel reservations and traveler identifications using a travel management application.” This could be accomplished a number of different ways, utilizing NFC and embedded RFID tags in a government-issued ID, and it sounds like it could fit right into the upcoming iOS 6 feature called Passbook.
The “iTravel” application described in the patent would perform a host of functions currently accomplished by multiple different apps. This unified app would let you search for (and check into) flights, make travel reservations, and retrieve reservation information from a website, e-mail, or another device. Apple first filed this patent back in 2008.
Unfortunately, a patent like this seems like less of a safeguard for protecting Apple-bred innovation, and more like another tool in the company’s war against other smartphone makers — namely, Android smartphone makers, which Steve Jobs famously said he would go “thermonuclear war” on.
“In today’s patent environment, patent holders are throwing rights at each other, asserting tremendously broad applications of the patents and interpretations of the claims,” Robin Feldman, Professor of Law at UC Hastings and author of the book _Rethinking Patent Rights_, told Wired via e-mail. “This type of patent is a perfect battle weapon, regardless of how broadly it would be interpreted and whether it would stand up well under court scrutiny.”
A user interface for an iTravel app for aggregating travel check-in information. _Image: Free Patents Online_
Apple competitors like Samsung and Sony, among other smartphone makers, are both actively pursuing NFC applications. Samsung, whose Galaxy Nexus smartphone includes NFC, has released a product called Tectiles that brings NFC to any device or situation. Sony has a similar product for its Xperia smartphone, Xperia SmartTags, which hangs like a key fob or dog tag rather than sticking onto things.
Both of these Android-focused products could be used for all manner of NFC applications, potentially including travel, if a hotel decided to place a tag at its registration desk for quick guest check-in. In this scenario, it’s not outside the realm of possibility to think the more general NFC check-in product could be found in violation of Apple’s broader patent holding.
“Large competitors like Samsung and Sony are likely to take direct hits from a patent like this,” Feldman said. “Smaller startups may take indirect hits, but the real losers are consumers who pay for the patent wars in the form of higher prices.”
For now, Apple doesn’t even have a device that uses NFC. But between today’s aptent, a patent filed in April of this year for “gifting” iTunes purchases through NFC, the hire of an NFC expert in 2010, and code dumps that point to NFC technology (among other rumors and reports), it looks like Apple’s next iPhone could include NFC.
But, frankly, that doesn’t even matter. Apple’s got this win, and a variety of other patents, under its belt, and all these intellectual property weapons can be used to dismantle Android’s growing hold on the mobile space. http://dlvr.it/1r4nMM