In the world of tech patents, you will find numerous ideas that might sound crazy. When companies file for the tech patents, the USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) has the authority to approve the patents.
One thing we like to clarify is that not all the patents that are filed will be approved by the USPTO. Also, not all the approved patents will turn into reality. An issued patent is used a weapon by the companies against their competitors. In fact, some companies acquire patents and follow the practice of filing lawsuits against their rivals alleging infringements.
The technology field is no different. There are many patent filings that happen in the field by some of the biggies in the industry. While not all patents are given a green signal, today we have listed those that have been approved this year. Take a look at some of the impressive patents that were approved in 2016.
Apple's Thinner Speaker System (Patent No. 9,525,943)
Apple filed a patent application in 2014 to use a thinner speaker in the future iPhone models. Earlier this week, the USPTO awarded this patent to the Cupertino-based company. This way, Apple can offer Hi-Definition sound on iPhones without any micro drivers.
Apple's Woven Display (Patent No. 9,521,885)
Along with the above mentioned patent to use a thinner speaker in the upcoming iPhones, Apple was also awarded the Woven Display patent. This patent involves a method that lets light transmissive fibers to be woven in fabric creating a display. This can be used along with a device like Apple Watch. Also, the fabric can be used as a material to store an electronic device.
Apple gets Dual-SIM patent (Patent No. 9,525,863)
Lately, there are rumors that Apple might be aiming to hit the Chinese market with the dual-SIM variant of the iPhone 8. While such rumors were prevalent before the launch of the iPhone 7 too, this time there is more sense to it as Apple has been granted the dual-SIM technology with two separate antennas by USPTO.
Samsung's Flexible Display Structure (Patent No. 9,504,145)
Samsung Display was given green for a patent for a flexible display structure. The patent shows that it will pave way for bendable and foldable phones that might come in the future. The screens are said to be in a such way that they don't shatter as a result as the impact.
Flexible Display Devices (Patent No. 9,504,170)
In November, USPTO issued a patent for a flexible display that Apple had filed. As per the patent, when the phone is not in use, its screen can fold up like a chamshell device with the help of a hinge connecting the two halves of the display. There will be flexible PCBs to connect the inner workings of the halves.
Apple's VR Headset (Patent No. 9,482,869)
USPTO awarded a patent called "Head-Mounted Display Apparatus For Retaining A Portable Electronic Device With Display" to Apple. This is a nothing but a VR headset for smartphones. The patent documentation also reveals a remote control device to control the VR headset. This could be Apple's answer to the rivals having VR headsets.
All-glass water-resistant Phone (Patent No. 9,439,305)
USPTO has granted Apple a patent for an all-glass water-resistant mobile phone with a wraparound screen. This patent was filed in 2014. An all-glass body means that the device can be transparent or translucent. Though we can't expect any such phone to come soon, it might show us what we can expect from the company in the coming years.
Samsung Vertical Wireless Charger (Patent No. 9,451,005)
Filed in 2013, the patent for a vertical wireless charger was granted to Samsung by USPTO. This patent tips that we can expect to see an evolution in the design of wireless charging pads. Eventually, it can charge multiple devices in as vertical manner.
Noise Canceling Earbuds (Patent No. 9,363,589)
USPTO granted a patent to Apple for a liquid resistant acoustic device. This patent is all about using separate apertures in the housing of the device with an umbrella section and joining them with the acoustic port to cover the port. This way, the liquids entering the device will be redirected to flow away from the mesh.
This patent approved by the USPTO shows that Apple is designing a wireless hybrid headphone system. Instead of a 3.5mm plug, the invention uses a cable and a connector that transmit analog and digital signals. This way, a single cable can charge as well as control the device simultaneously.