Apple Patents Galore Over a Week’s Time; Smart Garment, Apple TV, iPhone Headset and More

January 19, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Here, have a look at Apple’s plans through the 52 patents issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to the company in the last week alone. You will be going through patents regarding Smart Garment, Apple TV, iPhone headset and so on.

The smart garment patent refers to sensors physically affixed to clothing and speaks of garment usage and wear-patterns as additional information that can be detected.

It will be able to tell when the garment is actually being warm by measuring for body heat. The sensors could also be used to inform users when the item of clothing has been degraded from peak performance or is at the end of its expected useful life.

Meanwhile, the patent regarding Apple TV references the ability to record TV shows directly from cable. The patent covers a menu-organizing technique that can identify and add TV shows recorded from cable to listings such as those already available that show information and availability of programs from sources such as the iTunes Store.

The patent could still be useful in either a future Apple TV model or in the rumored Apple-branded HDTVs.

Next one is a patent for a revised trackpad that includes two secondary zones that extend across the entire width of the notebook, augmented by a screen-mounted sensor that would detect the difference between the zones being used as palm rests and being used by fingers.

The palm-rest area could be assigned to swiping when just a finger is detected on the palm-rest area. The other hand could remain on the keyboard or in the main trackpad area, effectively changing how far a user could swipe or perform other actions that might extend beyond the main trackpad area. The bar could also theoretically detect hovering movements, turning the sensor and trackbar combination into a Kinect-like motion detector.

The next patent hints at Apple’s attempt at designing a Bluetooth headset for the iPhone. The headset idea features modes such as music playing that will automatically pause when the headset is removed, or a call mode that automatically switches the call to speakerphone when the headset is removed. If Siri is combined with this headset options, things would look good.

Apple was issued 22 patents on January 10th, eight on the 12th and a further 22 patents on 17th. Way to go, right?


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