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Apple Explores Tough Abrasive Glass Housing For Future iPhones, iPads

Apple has doubled down on exploring bonded all glass tough bodies for iPhones and iPads, according to its latest patents.

Apple this week was granted more than 50 patents.

When it comes to announcing its future plans, the Cupertino-based tech giant plays its cards close to its chest, revealing next to nothing. Patent applications offer a way to see the technology options Apple has been exploring.

The list includes patents for a “chemically strengthened and textured glass member” with four layers with the first two being rough in texture. It suggests Apple is exploring all glass bodies for future iPhones and iPads with rough texture on the back so that they don’t slip out of your hands.

In June Patently Apple reported that the company had been granted a patent on a similar theme – an abrasion-resistant back panel made of glass or metal applicable to iPhones, iPads and MacBooks – again with the likely intention of not making all glass bodies slippery.

However abrasive and textured glass bodies are only the tip of the iceberg in the current cache of new patents which also cover virtual and augmented reality, and the connected car.

VR/AR patents include scene camera retargeting, where in virtual space a scene defined by the viewpoint of a camera can be recast from the user’s viewpoint. Another, “transferring a virtual object”, is again geared to movements in virtual space and their reduction in size as they move away from an avatar.

Another covers “a method of displaying virtual information in a view of a real environment”, while a further patent addresses “animation modification” for optical see-through displays.

A patent entitled “enhanced network connectivity for a connected car and onboard user equipment” adds further fuel to  Apple’s vehicle project being alive and well and the company is moving beyond Apple CarPlay to an autonomous, externally connected and maybe even an externally controlled electric car. The patent, which includes flowcharts, addresses cars prioritising multiple network connections.

“A connected car and an onboard user equipment (UE) may establish independent cellular connections and may also establish a connection between each other”, says the patent abstract.

Other patents cover new heartrate tracking techniques, augmented reality maps, a portable listening device with an accelerometer, and user identification using headphones.

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