Tag Archives: patents

Apple Wins Smart Fabric Patent That Could Trigger Adjustable Light for iPad Pro Keyboard Keys

By Radu Iorga

Apple won a ton of patents over the past years, but now we’ve found one related to a smart fabric that could offer us adjustable light on an iPad Pro keyboard. The patent was granted last month by the US Patent Office and it was published this week by the European Patent Office.

The smart fabric is able to adjust its appearance using light emitting diodes. Apple hints at a fabric that could be used in a future keyboard, like the Smart Keyboard Folio. It could also be applied on a future Apple Watch band or a device cover or case. The adjustable strand could include a light emitting core, that could involve an optical fiber provided by light from a light emitting diode.

The light emitting diodes are mounted to a dielectric core, or a layer of light emitting diodes, sandwiched between coaxial inner and outer conductive layers. The strands of material in the fabric could include electrically adjustable light sources and electrically adjustable light modulators. Light modulator structures could adjust the color of emitted light.

 

The arrangements may also alter the appearance of fabric-based items, like keyboard key symbols, lit up logos and patterns. If I were Apple I’d be afraid to experiment with keyboards now, after the bad feedback received for the last MacBook keyboards, but using fabrics for smart lighting of gadgets seems harmless. I can imagine an Apple Watch band or maybe a keyboard cover that lights up.

The post Apple Wins Smart Fabric Patent That Could Trigger Adjustable Light for iPad Pro Keyboard Keys appeared first on Tablet News.

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New Samsung Patent Hints at Rollable Device, Truly Rollable This Time

By Radu Iorga

We’ve heard about scroll-like tablets and rollable devices before, but this one really seems like the real deal. There’s a new Samsung patent coming up online and showing us an “extremely rollable portable device”. Let’s check it out.

91mobiles.com is the source of the leak, that goes beyond the usual “bigger Galaxy Fold” models. We already knew that Samsung was working on larger diagonal foldables, to be honest. The new patent shows a device that can be rolled like a yoga mat or piece of dough. This design patent is straight out of the USPTO database.

It’s dubbed “Rollable Display Device” and it belongs to the Samsung Display subsidiary. This set of documents and sketches was filed with the USPTO back in August 2017. The odd thing about it is the large number of hinges present, no less than 20 of them. There’s a single flexible display here, combined with several hinges, that are placed at shorter distances compared to other previous patents and foldables.

 

This is a very flexible device, that can change multiple formats, going from tablet to laptop, phone and more. It has a screen at the front and one at the back, The patent also mentions several supports inside the device, connected via rotatable hinges. The hardware inside is connected to a flexible circuit board and a special sealant holds everything together. This is not the type of device we’re going to see anytime soon.

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Apple Foldable Display Patents Reveals Multiple Foldable Device Formats

By Radu Iorga

It seems that over the past year we’ve seen more patents than in the whole last decade. That’s because we’re on the cusp on moving onto a new paradigm, involving foldable phones, tablets, foldable everything. Also interconnected with 5G… Apple can’t stay away from it, as shown by its latest patents, which we dissect below.

Apple patented a series of foldable display designs, which seem to predict their approach to foldables. Apple is said to be planning its first foldable display device in 2020, aiming for a “different approach”. They’ve been working on it and patenting stuff as early as 2011, with an update in 2016 and now they have a plurality of diagrams.

We have multiple versions of the foldable Apple device, including the most basic model of all, simply two parts and a hinge between them, with a foldable screen on the side. There’s also a vertical foldable device and one with a weird loop. Some of the designs feel like the Microsoft Surface devices, while others seem overcomplicated.

Apple seems to dislike curves, as their approach is mostly angular and reinforced with multiple components and layers. There’s the idea of having a folding body with screens on the outside, or folding screens, with the pliable parts within the screens. Multi link assemblies are also proposed and we see a device with various levels of thickness, multiple flex points.

Apple has a lot to choose from, including materials, hinges, components, symmetry of lack of… Even a roll up device is proposed at some point, or one that looks like a wallet. Also, they even tried out a triple display setup, like the famous Xiaomi leaked foldable phone. There’s no way to predict which of these will make it into production, so I guess we have to wait till 2020 to learn more.

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Samsung Patents New Foldable Phone Design, Tablet, Also All in One Desktop

By Radu Iorga

Samsung patented a motherload of devices this week, starting with a foldable phone and tablet, plus an all in one desktop PC. The company was granted a series of new design patents, one of them covering a large foldable smartphone, while the second was pretty covert. It could be a large foldable phone or a small foldable tablet.

The US Patent Office granted Samsung a design patent for a new All in One desktop design, as the graphics in this article show. These are simple visuals, not very clear indicators of the final products. However, the sketches of the phone and tablet are pretty self explanatory. First we saw an out-folding smartphone, that has two separate screens attached via hinge.

It’s able to fold outwards, meaning the user can unfold the device and place it on a flat surface, offering two fields of view. This way two users can operate the device at the same time. The second patent covers a foldable tablet that folds inwards. It can be folded into a smartphone-sized machine and give the user a large display and a portable machine at the same time.

 

There was also a very large device in the sketches, possibly a very big tablet. An All in One desktop also appears, as a screen attached to a small rounded box, like the older iMacs. That whole tubular thing looks interesting, like a portable speaker of sorts. This feels like something Samsung show at IFA 2019, rather than MWC or CES. Foldables will surely come on February 20 though.

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Microsoft Patents Fabric Based Sensors for Surface Tablets, Could Also Reach Other Devices

By Radu Iorga

The idea of smart fabric has been around for a bit and Intel has been playing with it, also Google via the Project Jacquard thing. Now Microsoft patents a set of fabric-based sensors, that could reach Surface tablets, the HoloLens and more Microsoft devices.

Apple also had a few fabric-based patents, which were associated to Apple Watch bracelets. Microsoft’s fresh patent application is titled “Forming Touch Sensor on Fabric”. The documents mention a new technology that may be used on a mobile devices. These sensors could be integrated into fabrics or other finishes, such as a metallic paint and they could be used with touch controls for controlling volume levels for content.

They could also change TV channels or be used with biometrics and more. Many tablet covers, keyboards and accessories include fabric parts, so in the future those parts could include sensors and other components. Google paired up with Levi Strauss for Project Jaquard and Microsoft may also look into some other fashion brand to deliver its own version, in case they want to expand beyond accessories.

Such fabric-based sensors are also useful for medical purposes, sleep tracking, pulse tracking and more.

The post Microsoft Patents Fabric Based Sensors for Surface Tablets, Could Also Reach Other Devices appeared first on Tablet News.

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