Apple Iphone 7 reveal

If you follow the tech industry, or if you haven’t been living under a rock, then you probably know that this week was Apple’s big reveal of the iPhone 7. From San Francisco Apple highlighted the new device, which boasts more storage, a better camera, and not surprisingly, no headphone jacks. In addition to the iPhone 7 news, Apple also released new information about Apple watches. To the delight of many and fresh off the heels of a Pokemon Go success,  Apple also revealed news of a new game from Nintendo; Super Mario Run. For patent junkies, however, the event spoke in volumes based on what was left unsaid. Today we will try to dig into what is next on the horizon for Apple, beyond iPhones and Super Mario.

What Was Missing From The  iPhone 7 Reveal

Apple Iphone 7 reveal

Photo Courtesy: The New York Times

One major missing piece from the San Francisco event was a bit of tech that their competitor, Samsung, brought to market some time ago; wireless charging. Yesterday, Patently Apple unearthed a patent that was filed in 2015 by Apple. The patent itself covers the brushing and polishing techniques on contoured and cylindrical pieces of metal, although the site hypothesized that such tech seems to fit with processes needed to create an inductive charging station. This tech, which has been available on Samsung phones for a while, allows users to place their phone on a small pad to charge rather than plugging it onto the wall.

In the past Apple has expressed reluctance to move forward with this type of “wireless” charging technology. Given the charging pads have to be plugged into an outlet to function, in the past Apple executives have dismissed the tech as not being truly wireless.  Apple may instead try for patents that harness radio waves or even ultrasound technology to create truly wireless charging. This tech is rumored for release in 2017, but given Apple’s propensity to only release tech after it has been perfected, it is anyone’s guess if the rumors are true.

What About Virtual Reality?

Another major missing piece from the event was any talk of augmented or virtual reality. Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Samsung are all making the push into the this type of tech. Additionally, Apple holds a number of patents applicable to the field of virtual and augmented reality. So, why would Apple stay silent?

Well, again the company is notorious for being sticklers for both form and function. It is not enough for the tech to be solid, but it also has to be seamless in the slick and sleek design that Apple is known for. AR and VR at this point seems to be synonymous with big, bulky and clunky; hardly on par with the Apple brand. That is not so say that Apple isn’t working on it. For years it has been rumored that Apple has a vast research units working on this tech. Many believe that Apple already has a headset prototype  for use with virtual reality programs. One thing is for sure, Apple won’t be releasing anything until the company believes it is absolutely perfect.

Apple watchers and patents geeks alike may have had more fun this week with what Apple didn’t say at its most recent event, than what it did. For now we will have to be content to dig into the patent filings to try to get a glimpse at what the future may hold for the brand. For a patent attorney, what could be more fun? If you like to talk patent, copyright or any intellectual property law be sure to follow us on Facebook and join the conversation.


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