Apple and patents seem to go hand in hand these days. If you check the headlines on any given day you’re sure to hear word from some patent war which rage on globally. Recently we’ve had the patent deal with HTC, there was the story of the Swiss Railway clock, VirnetX with their Facetime victory and of course the legendary rounded corners.
We’re always seeing stories of patents registered that are for products so future that we wonder exactly how many years or decades they are away. The speculation always rages about new features that are going to be included. As much as any Android fan loves to hate on Apple it’s hard to deny that on occasion they come out with something other than a design patent.
Here are the 5 coolest Apple patents that we’ve seen so far:
Liquid Metal Batteries
2 years ago Apple was granted its first patent related to Liquidmetal, a space-age metal alloy. The patent isn’t targeted towards iPhones or iPad but instead an internal component of a fuel cell. The patent describes “amorphous alloy” collector plates for fuel cells, an electrochemical battery that uses hydrogen to generate electricity. Miniature fuel cells could power mobile phones for more than 30 days without recharging and notebooks for 20 hours or more.
File Transfer That you can “Pour Out”
In an attempt to one up HP’s touch to share, Apple has come up with the idea to “pour out” files from one device to another. They love their using physics in their applications and this one mimics that of pouring water. Apple lists a host of other examples that include sound effects. One such example includes an iPhone sucking up files from an iPad with the sound effect of a vacuum cleaner. If you want to read more on this visit Patently Apple.
Apple’s data glasses:
There are quite a number of manufacturers that are looking into data enabled glasses. Google glasses is of course the most well known that display’s something in front of your eyes with the capabilities to do so much more. It would be naive to think that Apple wouldn’t be working on something along these lines. This patent goes back to 2006 and was originally intended to be a way how to show, for example, videos from an iPod through a pair of glasses or a helmet right before your eyes.
When it comes to solar power, Apple has something up their sleeve: a Solar Powered Macbook. In this patent from 2008 , the MacBook has a light harness that could be an accessory that magnetically attaches to the backside of a future Macbook or could be engineered right into the Macbook using a translucent component.
3D Hologram Projector:
We’re already a big fan of the niche device, the Galaxy Beam, a smartphone with a built in projector. However, this patent Apple - also from 2006 – but is a breathtaking step further, the projector does not project a two-dimensional image on a wall, but creates a three-dimensional hologram. If they can pull this off, I’ll line up over night to be the first in line to grab one.
These are just a few of the cool patent that we’ve pulled together, if you have some favorites be sure to post them in the comments.