Apple Patents

Apple Patent Features Wireless Charging, No Pad Required

Wireless charging solutions can be handy, just drop a compatible device onto a charging pad and it will grab some juice. While these solutions eliminate the need for charger plugs and wires in everyday usage, a new patent awarded to Apple takes the concept one step further. Imagine a future MacBook that automatically powers a wireless Magic Mouse, or charges an iPhone anytime the device is placed nearby.

Apple Patent NFMR charging

The technology is called wireless Near Field Magnetic Resonance (NFMR) power transmission. The patent awarded to Apple explains that normal batteries could be replaced by wireless power units, which would receive energy from a nearby transmission device. Transmission from a laptop or tablet would create a zone around the computer that could be used to power any peripherals equipped with these units.

Facial Recognition to Join Touch ID on iOS devices?

Now that biometrics has made its debut on the iPhone 5s, it's only a matter of time before Apple integrates more of this technology into future devices. Touch ID has successfully integrated a fingerprint sensor into the iPhone, simultaneously increasing security while simplifying the user experience. Now a patent uncovered by AppleInsider points to Apple's work on facial recognition.

Apple face recognition patent

The patent was filed in 2008, and describes a system that would control a computer or iPhone using face detection and recognition. The idea would be along the same lines as Touch ID, increasing security for the user's data while improving productivity and convenience. Capturing a facial image would be accomplished with an image sensor, or this could be done with the built-in iSight cameras on current model iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

More Touch ID Details Surface in Apple Patents

When Apple first revealed the Touch ID system, the company described a "secure enclave" within the A7 chip which stores sensitive fingerprint data. Now thanks to two patent applications detailed by Patently Apple, the mechanics of this secure enclave have been explained.

Touch ID exploded

Images of fingerprints are never stored in the secure enclave or elsewhere. Fingerprint map input from the Touch ID sensor is processed and stored using a kind of encryption. For security when unlocking the iPhone, MacRumors explains that "the enclave only allows fingerprints to be checked against known valid ones, not the other way around."

Apple Patents Point to Liquidmetal in Future Products

The SIM card ejector tool is no longer shipped with new iPhones, however this small accessory made big headlines thanks to its composition. The tool was made of Liquidmetal, an amorphous metal alloy. These metals can be molded into thin, unique shapes while retaining incredible strength and durability, which could be perfect for mobile devices.

Apple liquidmetal SIM ejector

Liquidmetal Technologies inked an exclusive deal with Apple a few years ago, and now it looks like their work is bearing fruit. Patently Apple details five patents involving Liquidmetal, proving Apple is moving closer to manufacturing with this material. Two of the technically complex patents revolve around using Liquidmetal in a 3D printing process to create parts.

Will Apple Produce an iPhone with Custom OLED?

There's been a lot of talk about how Apple can improve the iPhone display. Ultimately, the goal is a lighter, brighter, thinner screen that extents battery life. Rumors have been floating around for some time surrounding Sharp's IGZO, however the technology has failed to surface on an Apple product to date. Now thanks to a new patent filing the possibility of an OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display has resurfaced.

patent OLED Apple

Although Samsung, among others, has already embraced the OLED thanks to its thin profile and power-sipping nature, it seems Apple plans to customize and improve on the technology before adding OLED to the iPhone. In the patent, Apple describes photodiode sensors embedded throughout the OLED display, which would serve to improve its function dynamically.


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