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Patents Displays Graphics Operating Systems Software United States Windows Apple Hardware Technology

Apple Patent Paves Way For iPhone With Full-Face Display, HUD Windows (appleinsider.com) 75

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Apple Insider: Apple on Tuesday was granted a patent detailing technology that allows for ear speakers, cameras and even a heads-up display to hide behind an edge-to-edge screen, a design rumored to debut in a next-generation iPhone later this year. Awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple's U.S. Patent No. 9,543,364 for "Electronic devices having displays with openings" describes a method by which various components can be mounted behind perforations in a device screen that are so small as to be imperceptible to the human eye. This arrangement would allow engineers to design a smartphone or tablet with a true edge-to-edge, or "full face," display. With smartphones becoming increasingly more compact, there has been a push to move essential components behind the active -- or light-emitting -- area of incorporated displays. Apple in its patent suggests mounting sensors and other equipment behind a series of openings, or through-holes, in the active portion of an OLED or similar panel. These openings might be left empty or, if desired, filled with glass, polymers, radio-transparent ceramic or other suitable material. Positioning sensor inputs directly in line with said openings facilitates the gathering of light, radio waves and acoustic signals. Microphones, cameras, antennas, light sensors and other equipment would therefore have unimpeded access beyond the display layer. The design also accommodates larger structures like iPhone's home button. According to the document, openings are formed between pixels, suggesting a self-illuminating display technology like OLED is preferred over traditional LCD structures that require backlight and filter layers. Hole groupings can be arranged in various shapes depending on the application, and might be larger or smaller than the underlying component. If implemented into a future iPhone, the window-based HUD could be Apple's first foray into augmented reality. Apple leaves the mechanics unmentioned, but the system could theoretically go beyond AR and into mixed reality applications.
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Apple Patent Paves Way For iPhone With Full-Face Display, HUD Windows

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  • This "invention" is identical to what movie theaters have been doing with screens since the first talkies replaced silent films. Why does it deserve patent protection?

    It reminds me of their "innovative" magnetic power plug...that was technologically identical to the magnetic plugs on electric frying pans dating back to at least the 1940s.

    Everything old is new again...

  • by Doke ( 23992 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2017 @04:53PM (#53644477) Homepage

    That's going to make it a lot harder to cover your camera. The spooks will love it.

    • That's going to make it a lot harder to cover your camera. The spooks will love it.

      Impossible, I'd say. Because the problem with video chat that any off-spectrum engineer has been trying to solve since the inception of video chat is, how do you make it look like a face to face conversation? How do you establish eye contact in video chat?

      The obvious answer to any skilled practitioner of the art has always been to embed the camera in the display itself. For an oblong display that is most frequently used vertically, embed the camera 1/3rd of the way down from the upper short edge, exactly

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This kind of patent should require a working prototype at least. If apple can build it then might be worth considering a patent. If it is beyond their technology then it is really blocking other people who could develop it first.
    I also need to get my patent in for FTL drive, teleporter and replicator etc.

  • The patent describes the HUD as being a transparent display over a hole/window in the device. I can't see that being very likely in the near future. Either the hole is too small to see much through, or the window takes up a big portion of the phone. You can't hold a small window up to the eye and still focus on the display, unless it uses some sort of lightfield display. AR isn't as simple as a see-through display.
  • Apple Patent Paves Way For iPhone With Full-Face Display, HUD Windows

    Not "Windows," but "windows," of course.

    Title case is a pointless, arbitrary, and confusing tradition. Let it die.

    No-one Writes Anything Else Like This, So Why News Headlines?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    .. So I don't have to look down at my instrument cluster when trying to navigate traffic. Fuck you, skully.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2017 @06:12PM (#53644913)

    One. 3.5mm. For a headphone. And I'll go away satisfied.

  • "technology that allows for ear speakers"

    As opposed to what, nose speakers? Toe speakers? Speakers in suppository form?

  • Ear Phones! Brilliant!
  • At best, I'll cover some small bits of the display at the edge. More likely, I'll be accidentally doing a multi-touch long-press.

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