Apple’s Patents – Electronic Device Keyboard Illumination

  • November 27, 2012

Apples Patents D671,550 & D671,558


Our list of some of the patents granted to Apple today by the USPTO.


Display screen or portion thereof with icon



Display screen or portion thereof with graphical user interface



Apple’s Patent US 8,319,128

Apple's Patent US 8,319,128

System and methods for electronic device keyboard illumination 

Patent Background 

Currently, there are a wide variety of known electronic devices that include a keyboard as a user interface component (e.g., cellular telephones and personal computers). The keyboard of many of these devices can be illuminated such that a user may be able to see and use the keyboard when provided with little or no ambient light. For example, some known devices include a light source, such as a light emitting diode (“LED”), underneath each of a plurality of the keys of the keyboard. Alternatively, some known devices include only a few light sources, but diffuse the light in such a way that each of the keys of the keyboard are illuminated.

However, these light sources can add an undesirable additional weight to the electronic device which can undesirably increase the thickness of the electronic devices. Therefore, it would be beneficial to provide systems and methods for improving the illumination of an electronic device keyboard while reducing the thickness and weight.

The Invention 

Improved systems and methods for electronic device keyboard illumination are provided. In one embodiment, a keyboard includes a plurality of keys and a flexible circuitry layer positioned under the plurality of keys. The flexible circuitry layer includes a plurality of illumination sources for generally illuminating the plurality of keys, wherein each one of the illumination sources is positioned to emit light in the plane of the keyboard, and wherein at least a first one of the illumination sources is positioned to primarily emit light in any direction other than a direction that is directly opposite to the direction of light primarily emitted by each of the other ones of the illumination sources.





Apple’s Patent US 8,321,786

Routine and interface for correcting electronic text 

Error checking and correction techniques for web based applications use an error checking routine on a server or a client station to find errors in electronic text of an E-mail message. The disclosed error checking routine detects errors such as spelling errors in the electronic text and creates a correction file of the electronic text containing tags, markers and other information allowing errors to be displayed and corrected using the user’s graphical interface. The graphical interface allows the user to review all the errors concurrently in the correction file and to correct the errors in any order. In a preferred embodiment, correction is facilitated in response to the user moving a mouse pointer over an error of interest, which provides correction options to be displayed in-line with the original text. The user can then select a suitable correction to correct the error.


US 8,321,801

Desktop widgets for presentation in a layer 

A user-activatable dashboard (also referred to as a unified interest layer) contains any number of user interface elements, referred to herein as “widgets,” for quick access by a user. In response to a command from a user, the dashboard is invoked and the widgets are shown on the screen. The user can activate the dashboard at any time, causing the dashboard to temporarily replace the existing user interface display on the user’s screen. Once the dashboard has been activated, the user can interact with any or all of the widgets, and can configure the dashboard by adding, deleting, moving, or configuring individual widgets as desired. When the user wishes to return to the normal user interface he or she was working with, the user issues a command causing the dashboard to be dismissed. Once the dashboard has been dismissed, the previous user interface state is restored, allowing the user to resume normal interactions with the operating system.



Apple's Patent US 8,321,783



Apple’s Patent US 8,321,783

Visualizing content positioning within a document using layers 

It can be difficult to predict what the layout of a document will be if the document contains several content elements, some of which are associated with different positioning schemes. In one embodiment, elements are shown in different layers based on their positioning schemes. For example, a first layer includes elements that are associated with non-overlapping positioning schemes, and a second layer includes elements that are associated with overlapping positioning schemes. When the document is viewed from above, the layers “collapse” onto each other, and the document appears to have a conventional (two-dimensional) page rendering. However, when the document is viewed from an angle, the layers appear separately in three-dimensional space, similar to an exploded view. The separate layers reveal the positioning schemes of the various elements and the layout interactions between those elements. This visualisation technique helps a user understand how various elements are positioned within the document.


Apple’s Patent US 8,321,435

Quick find for data fields 

Methods, program products, and systems for automatically searching data in multiple data fields are described. A user can view data retrieved from a database and formatted based on a layout. While viewing the data, the user can perform a search using one or more search terms. A system can automatically examine the database and identify on which tables and on which data fields of the tables to perform the search. The system can identify searchable tables and data fields by analyzing the database schema as well as characteristics of the tables and data fields.


Apple’s Patent US 8,321,593

Time synchronization of media playback in multiple processes 

Systems, methods, devices that enable the efficient synchronization of timing information from first time-based process to a second time-based process using periodic or event-driven synchronization messages are provided. In one aspect, the invention includes a media processing system having a first process for processing media based, at least in part, on first timing information derived from a first timing source and a second timing source. The system may also include a second process for processing the media based, at least in part, on second timing information derived from the first timing source. The first process may send one or more timing synchronization messages, generated based at least in part on the first timing source and the second timing source, to the second process to synchronize the second timing information with the first timing information.



Apple’s Patent US 8,321,374

Peer-to-peer N-way syncing in decentralized environment 

An apparatus and method of synchronizing a datum between a plurality of stores is disclosed. A version history is associated with the datum in each store. The version history has one or more entries, and each entry has an identifier and a value. The identifier identifies a store that has modified the datum, and the value indicates a number of modifications to the datum made by the store. When synchronizing the datum between stores, the version histories of the datum are compared to determine whether one version history is subordinate to another version history. The datum in the store having the subordinate version history is then replaced with the datum having the dominant version history. When compared, a conflict resolution by a user is required if the version histories are not identical, if the version histories do not have all the same identifiers, and if one version history does not contain all of the identifiers with equal or greater values of those in the other version history.



Apple’s Patent US 8,320,838

Host-mobile trace synchronization and comparison 

Systems and methods are provided for tracing parameters indicative of performance of a mobile device that is not tethered to a host computer. The mobile device is instructed to monitor a performance characteristic when the mobile device is not tethered to the host computer. The instructions may be to trace the characteristic at a certain point, for a span in the future, under certain conditions, or at all times. When the mobile device is later tethered to the host computer, the traced parameter data is transferred to the host computer. Applications that decrease performance, as indicated by the traced parameters, may be debugged or optimized. The behavior of the mobile device before, during, and after tethering to the host computer or to a second device may be observed. The performance of a plurality of untethered mobile devices may also be traced, transferred, and compared.


Apple’s Patent US 8,319,747

Single layer touch panel with segmented drive and sense electrodes 

A touch sensor panels having segmented electrodes for both the drive and sense lines. The touch sensor panel may include a number of columns of sense electrodes and a number of rows of drive electrodes. Each of the drive and sense electrodes are connected to one of the metal bus lines using a connecting trace. Pixels on the touch sensor panel are formed by the unique pairings of individual drive electrodes and their adjacent sense electrodes. Electrically, the mutual capacitance of one touch-sensing pixel can be distinguished from the mutual capacitance of another touch sensing pixel because the two mutual capacitances are formed with combinations of different drive electrodes and sense electrodes. In one embodiment, the drive electrodes and sense electrodes in adjacent columns are staggered horizontally with respect to each other by half a Y-pitch of the electrodes.


Apple’s Patent US 8,319,488

Momentarily enabled electronic device 

A method and apparatus for providing intermittent or interruptible power to an electronic device. The circuit may provide power upon user initiation and interrupt that power in response to a user command, fault state, period of inactivity and so forth. As one example, interruptible power may be initially provided to activate or “power up” an electronic device and constant power provided after the initial activation. The initial powering up of the device may be facilitated by closing two contacts. The circuit may continue to provide power after the button is released through a monitoring and/or feedback mechanism.


Apple’s Patent US 8,317,658

Interfacing portable media devices and sports equipment 

Circuits, methods, and apparatus that allow sports or other equipment, such as gym or other cardio equipment, to write data to a media player. Examples further provide the uploading of this data to a computer and third-party website. To monitor progress, the third-party website can be used to track workout data over time. The third party-website can also collect data from other users, which is particularly useful for providing a competitive environment. This data can then be graphically displayed in various ways to provide encouragement.


Posted by | Posted at November 27, 2012 12:13 | Tags: , , , ,
Storm is a technology enthusiast, who resides in the UK. He enjoys reading and writing about technology.

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