updated 11:37 am EST, Thu December 19, 2013
Filings hint at future product features
The US Patent and Trademark Office has published several Apple patent applications, including separate filings for an "interactive map" interface and "quantum dot-enhanced display." The map application, spotted by AppleInsider, details an interactive interface that dynamically adjusts map content based on a chosen mode, with different modes for a range of activities or interests.
"While the amount of information that can be stored or accessed within an electronic computing device enables a user to obtain different maps, depending on the user's interest at any given time, it is necessary for the user to switch among different applications in order to view various types of information that may be of interest," the filing reads. "For instance, while viewing a weather map, if the user realizes that a rainstorm is approaching, it may be necessary to switch to a different map application to locate a restaurant or shopping mall where the user can take refuge while the storm passes."
To eliminate the need for multiple applications, the inventors argue that a wide range of information can be managed and presented as necessary within a single interface. The specific claims in the filing describe various methods and systems that would be necessary to achieve a unified experience.
The "quantum dot-enhanced display having dichroic filter" filing focuses on hardware, outlining next-generation technology that is claimed to improve color accuracy and vividness. The application describes how nanocrystals could be used within an LCD to control emission of specific light spectrums, depending on the composition, shape and size of the crystals.
"By varying dot size, the entire visible wavelength, ranging from about 460 nm (blue) to about 650 nm (red), may be reproduced," the filing notes.
Apple has yet to formally announce plans to integrate technology from either patent application in upcoming products.