Apple Patents

Apple Patent Reveals Wireless iPhone Chargers

Among 27 new patents granted to Apple today is an interesting wireless charging dock concept reviewed by Patently Apple. Basically, an inductive charging circuit makes the dock capable of charging an iPhone or other mobile device without a connector. The dock itself would be linked to a power source.

Apple patent inductive charger

Just resting a compatible iPhone on the dock would initiate charging, while a reradiating antenna inside the dock would enhance the strength of nearby Wi-Fi signals. Presumably this wireless data connection would be used to sync the device while charging. Current iPhone models are already capable of automatic syncing while plugged into a power source.

Apple NFC Patent Could Debut on iPhone 5

It may not be the first time we've heard about Apple considering Near Field Communication (NFC) for a future iPhone, and it won't be the last. The technology has the potential to make paying for things as easy as passing your device near a wireless NFC cash register. Patently Apple has uncovered a recent NFC patent filed by the company in December 2011.

iPhone patent NFC gifting

The premise of the patent is that iPhone owners could use NFC technology to easily share music with their friends or family. The process would work by allowing the user to wirelessly send a gift such as a song to a nearby iPhone. Sharing from the iTunes playlist would cost money, which would then be deducted from the gift giver's account.

Apple Patent Reveals iOS App Authoring Tools

Some iOS users have great app ideas, but maybe they're just not very good at programming. Apple could be seeking to broaden app development opportunities to people without typical developer skills if a patent revealed by AppleInsider means anything.

App Store Icon Apple software

Apple has already released the iBooks Author software package to help streamline the process of publishing ebooks. Although there are already services that help build iOS apps, nothing would compare to a software package from Apple dedicated to the process. Drawings from the patent application show a variety of graphic interfaces that could be used to make apps.

Apple Considering an All-Glass Future iPhone?

Many were surprised when Apple revealed the glass-backed iPhone 4. After all, even though glass provides a smooth and brilliant touch screen surface, fingerprints and risk of breakage are constant problems. An Apple patent filing from last September shows that Apple is considering doubling down on glass as the main device enclosure material.

iPhone 5 Glass enclosure

In short, this means that a future iPhone or iPod touch could be made entirely of glass, with the electronic components nestled inside. Some parts, such as the front screen, would be transparent. The rest of the mobile device would be painted, like the current iPhone 4/4S back and front bezel are made white or black.

Apple Patent Adds Interactive 3D to iPhone Display

Apple routinely describes the appearance and operation of its mobile products as "magical" for a reason. Ever since the first iPhone touch screen came on the market, the company has been refining its interface and raising the bar for intuitive interaction to a new level. A patent revealed by Patently Apple shows how Apple plans to add the illusion of 3D to future iOS devices.

Patent 3D eye tracking iPhone interface

Much like the head-tracking demo we've already seen that creates the illusion of 3D on the iPad, Apple's concept would track the movement of the iPhone user's eyes and alter the display accordingly. Finger position would also determine how the interface would move to provide "depth" to the iPhone screen.


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