Wow, talk about some major inventing going on. In just one day, Apple was granted 54 patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)! The intellectual property covers a gamut of products, from advanced technology to special displays.
A few of the newly granted Apple patents pertain to Siri, the voice-activated intelligent assistant invention on iPhones. One patent, in particular, protects the advanced technology behind Siri in iOS 9, as well as tvOS.
Another is related to the design of the Siri interface, and a third is for battery design. Apple was also granted approval for sealing and folding battery packs and a battery cell with an integrated pouch metal foil terminal.
Several of the patents secure advanced technology, such as that in the new iPad Pro that provides greater accuracy to the Apple pencil. The new development pertains to a light sensitive display and how the display works differently with light.
Other granted patents relate to electronic device assemblies, intelligent auto-exposure bracketing, centralized operation management, color correction of electronic displays, displaying location preview, generic media covers, integrated touch screen and two antenna systems
Several approvals involve analog memory and memory cells, including threshold adjustment using data value balancing in an analog memory device; signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) estimation in analog memory cells based on optimal read thresholds; error correction coding over multiple memory pages; mitigation of data retention drift by programming neighboring memory cells; and readout of interfering memory cells using estimated interference to other memory cells.
The USPTO also approved various technical inventions, including:
- Local device awareness;
- Dynamically overriding alert suppressions based on prior actions;
- Pilot signal in an FDMA communication system;
- High-performance ECC decoder;
- Reliable readout of fuse data in an integrated circuit;
- Compression and obfuscation of three-dimensional coding;
- Efficient texture comparison;
- Capacitive sensor packaging;
- Finger biometric sensor for flagging as sufficient enrollment finger biometric data sets and related methods;
- Harmonic detector of critical path monitors;
- Automatically configuring white space around an object in a document;
- Bridge circuit for bus protocol conversion and error handling;
- Multi-mode adapter;
- Recovery from programming failure in non-volatile memory;
- QoS aware scheduling;
- Opportunistic multitasking;
- Logical volume space sharing;
- Controlling a current drawn from an adapter by a computer system;
- VCM OIS actuator module;
- Small form factor desktop computer;
- Multi-step pattern formation;
- Efficient handling of misaligned loads and stores.
New Methods for Search Queries
Another invention that received protection from the USPTO is related to social analytics, in particular, search queries. It covers new systems and methods that use influence or reputation cores to enhance search queries.
It’s likely the social analytics enhancements were a project of Topsy Labs, which Apple acquired in 2013. Topsy used tools to analyze data from Twitter, such as how often specific terms are tweeted, the exposure of a campaign or event, or to track consumer sentiment.
Apple also plans to use the collected social data to improve Siri’s functionality in terms of content discovery and make other back-end services more timely and beneficial. The patent application further mentions using the technology with Yelp, the social networking site that publishes crowd-sourced reviews of local businesses.
It’s anticipated that Apple may also use the Topsy technology to enhance iAd and for real-time marketing and relationship management.
Others methods and techniques receiving protection include:
- Method and apparatus for component assembly using continuous selection;
- Methods for forming electroplated aluminum structures;
- Methods and apparatus to migrate stacks for thread execution;
- Method for implementing a quantizer in a multimedia compression and encoding system;
- System and method for incorporating an originating site into a security protocol for a downloaded program object;
- Wireless feedback system and method;
- Systems and methods for ejecting removable modules from electronic devices;
- Embedded authentication systems in an electronic device;
- Calibration techniques for activity sensing devices;
- Techniques for improving channel estimation and tracking in a wireless communication system;
- Scheme to escalate requests with address conflicts.
More than likely, these patent-approved inventions soon will be popping up in new Apple products and enhancing new versions of existing devices.