While some people may argue that America’s favorite passtime is baseball, I would like to suggest that it may actually be trying to predict what Apple may come up with next.
Following the successful launch of the third generation iPad, attentions are now being directed toward the next expected product upgrades –particularly the next iPhone and the (insinuated) promises of a truly different AppleTV. In support of the suppositions and theories, Apple has filed a number of new patents that have us all wondering what they might be up to.
With their announcement earlier this month, Apple began delivering an HD version of their AppleTV, a necessary incremental step toward whatever it is they have planned that will apparently revolutionize television. Contributing to the rumors is a new patent granted to Apple that shows an advanced television remote that “takes a photo of your current TV remote and it sends it to iCloud for analysis. It then sends a ‘virtual copy’ of your remote, functionality and all, to your iPhone.” Other advanced features may allow this new remote control to tell whether commands issued were successfully completed and determine other device statuses or settings. Combining this state-aware self-configuration capability with the potential for tie-in products and services, Apple may really have a handle on this ‘new way of interacting’ with the common television.
Another patent suggests that the new iPhone may actually contain more glass instead of the more popular rumor that it will be evolving to have an aluminum back like the other Apple mobile products. The advantages of glass include being radio-transparent while a “laser frit bonding process may be used to hermetically seal the two glass members together to create a water resistant electronic device.” Offering increased durability while making the antenna position more flexible is just the start of what glass casing may offer Apple’s designers.
Finally, of benefit to all Apple devices that feature a touch screen is the rumor that Apple is looking toward haptic touch feedback technologies; a rumor offered some validation with the granting of a patent that grants them license to create a touch-screen interface that includes a haptic feedback layer with one or more actuators configured to supply tactile sensations using one or more actuators that could be embedded in a nonconductive material. The results of this implementation could mean that every touch and each gesture made against an Apple touch screen could register against your sense of touch “by applying forces, vibrations, and/or motions.” Haptic touch technology makes it possible to communicate textures and other sensory details directly to fingertips, whether it means making the skimming of page content faster and easier or trying to simulate other details in an effort to create a virtual reality experience.
If Apple is going to continue to wow us, they are going to have to really up the ante with this next round of product releases. They need to provide updates that are persuasive enough to warrant upgrading while still coming in at a price-point that the average consume can justify; all while remaining more beautiful and elegant than any of the competition.