Apple is not shy about submitting patents on its creations, but this one is a little different. This particular filing attempts to patent the essence of 1984, and would give the Cupertino-based company the sole right to disable a user's iPhone camera app in restricted areas, such as at a concert venue or movie theater. However, it appears that the now-granted patent may disable far more than just your ability to take snapshots.
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The next-generation iPhone 5 leaks continue, this time seemingly revealing a built-in NFC module. NFC code has been found in iPhone prototypes, and Apple has even patented its method for including NFC into a future iPhone--and it just so happens that the patents and the location of this new chip match up perfectly (the top-left corner of the front of the device.) At the iOS 6 reveal, Apple showed off its Passbook digital wallet app. Since then, many have commented that NFC might be the perfect companion to Passbook. We'll find out on September 12.
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One of the features Amazon champions on its Kindle e-reader is the black-and-white E Ink screen, which puts less stress on the eye than the iPad or iPhone's LCD screen. A recent patent application, however, suggests that Apple is looking to produce a device with a hybrid E Ink-LCD screen.
Not only that, Apple's hybrid screen might have the ability to split into quadrants, with some segments displaying images via LCD and others displaying via E Ink. That, according to Patently Apple "would work very nicely with Apple's proposed use of Spaces on future iOS devices."
Specifically, Apple's patent covers a system for switching between an electronic paper display and a video display based on visual content.
"Based on the one or more features, the control circuitry could selectively enable the device's electronic paper display or the device's video display," Patently Apple said.
The invention, which in 2009 Apple called a "Reduced Size Multi-Pin Male Plug Connector" describes a 30-pin dock connector for "high-speed communication standards," citing USB 3.0 and a "dual channel" DisplayPort.
The name "Thunderbolt" wasn't mentioned (unsurprisingly, given that it only launched in February 2011 on the new MacBook Pro) but the patent's multiple mentions of a "dual channel" DisplayPort suggests the same technology.
Thunderbolt combines Intel's PCI Express and DisplayPort into a single connector for theoretical transfer speeds of 10 Gbps (fast enough to download a full-length Blu-ray movie in under 30 seconds).