Apple patents involve image sensors, impact protection, more
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Apple patents involve image sensors, impact protection, more

Apple has been granted several patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Following are some of the highlights.

Patent number 8115825 is for an electronic device with two image sensors. The electronic device may include a black-and-white camera having a first sensor area configured to receive luma data pertaining to the object. The first sensor area may correspond to a first pixel array, the luma data associated with the first pixel array. The electronic device may also include a color camera having a second sensor area configured to receive chroma data pertaining to the object.

The second sensor area may correspond to a second pixel array. The chroma data may be associated with the second pixel array. The electronic device may also include first logic configured to correlate pixels in the first pixel array with locations on the second sensor area. The inventors are Michael F. Culbert and Chris Ligtenberg.

Patent number 8115773 is for an active impact protection mechanism. The invention involves active cushioning mechanisms that detect imminent impact and activate a damper by driving power from an onboard power supply into an electromagnetic actuator. The electromagnetic actuator transforms the stored electric power into an electromechanical damping force. The actuators may be arranged about the exterior surface of the device, and may be selectively activated to provide protection at different points on the surface depending on the location of expected impact. Ashwin Sunder is the inventor.

Patent number 8116503 is for a bend switch for a wired headset. The patent is directed to a bend switch constructed from two substantially co-linear elongated bodies having opposing contact surfaces. In an open switch position, the contact surfaces remain apart, preventing electrical coupling. To close the switch, a user can bend the elongated bodies relative to each other to cause the contact surfaces to meet, thus creating an electrical coupling. Each elongated body can have several independent conductive portions. The bend switch can include a movable space member placed between the elongated bodies to maintain the contact surfaces a predetermined distance apart in the open switch position.

The movable space member can include preferred or non-preferred bending orientations, equilibrium positions, and/or a potentiometer for closing the switch. The bend switch can control one or more functions (e.g., microphone, volume, or playback controls) of an electronic device (e.g., portable media device or cellular telephone) coupled to the bend switch. The inventors are Eric B. Daniels, M. Evans Hankey, Daniele De Iuliis, Shin Nishibori and Peter Russell-Clarke.

Patent number 8116807 is for an airplane mode indicator on a portable multifunction device. The invention is for a graphical user interface on a portable multifunction device with a touch screen display includes an airplane mode switch icon with an "on" position and an "off" position. A communications signal strength icon is displayed if the airplane mode switch icon is at the "off" position. The communications signal strength icon is replaced with an airplane icon upon detecting a movement of a finger contact on or near the airplane mode switch icon. The detected movement of the finger contact is from the "off" position to the "on" position. Michael Matas is the inventor.

Patent number 8117309 involves re-download management of previously acquired digital media assets. Improved techniques that enable users to download digital media assets are disclosed. According to one aspect, digital media assets that a user has acquired from a remote media repository can be authorized for download multiple times. This, for example, allows a user to subsequently re-downloaded digital media assets that the user previously acquired. In one embodiment, digital media assets that a user previously downloaded to a user client device from a remote media repository can be made available to the user for subsequent re-download. Advantageously, a remote media repository can, in effect, provide users with a remote backup for previously acquired digital media assets. The inventors are Payam Mirrashidi, Neale Patton, Colin Meldrum, David Neumann, Alan Ward and Hiro Mitsuji.

Patent number 8117651 is for a system and method for authenticating an accessory. . The method includes performing a first authentication operation on the accessory by the media player, where an authentication certificate is validated; and performing a second authentication operation on the accessory by the media player, where an authentication signature is validated. According to the system and method disclosed herein, the media player and accessory may utilize a plurality of commands in a variety of environments such as within a connector interface system environment to control access to the media player. The inventors are Donald J. Novotney, John B. Filson, David Tupman and Gregory T. Lydon.

 
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