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What Apple patents say about iPhone 7, iPad Air 3, Apple Watch, new Macs & other future products

Ashleigh Allsopp | Feb. 5, 2015
We examine Apple's patent portfolio to uncover clues to future iPhones, iPads, Macs, the Apple Watch and unreleased products like the Apple Television.

Apple Mac patents: Touchscreen MacBook
In February 2013, a newly published Apple patent application led to speculation that Apple is working on a touchscreen MacBook.

The patent application clearly states that the advanced 'Integrated Touch' In-Cell display first used in the iPhone 5 could be applied to the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and iMac.

MacBook-iPad Hybrid
Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook's comments that a MacBook and iPad hybrid product would be like combining a fridge and a toaster, Apple has filed a patent for such device.

Apple's patent describes a device that would have a touchscreen display that can be removed from the keyboard and trackpad-equipped base, and can also be rotated when attached to the base.

Additionally, power could be wirelessly transferred from the base component to the detached display.

Apple Mac patents: Solar-powered MacBook
A rather adventurous patent published by USPTO in January describes a MacBook display that acts as a solar panel and also a double-sided screen.

According to the patent, the invention would have the normal MacBook screen on the front, and a secondary touch-display that has the ability to act as a solar panel on the back.

This patent combined with the patent described above could hint that Apple is investigating a new type of device that combines the iPad and the MacBook.

There have been rumours about an upcoming 'iPad Pro', which some believe will be Apple's first foray into tablet and laptop hybrids.

Apple Mac patents: Siri for Mac
Several patents relating to Siri on the Mac have been published by Apple, leading us to believe that the voice-activated personal assistant is on its way to OS X soon. You can find out more in our Siri for Mac release date rumour round-up.

What Apple patents say about Apple Television
One of the most recent patents that could well relate to Apple's future venture into the living room is a patent that described a "desk-free computer" that uses a super-intelligent projector.

The computer's projector contains an accelerometer, ambient light sensor and depth sensor to ensure the optimum image is projected onto any surface you choose. These qualities combined with the fact that it's wireless make it completely portable.

Speculation suggests that, if paired with a suitable controller, this patent could be used for the rumoured Apple television.

What Apple patents say about Apple accessories
Apple doesn't just patent technology that relate to its main hardware. The company also has several patents covering accessories and other gadgets.

Apple accessory patents: Health-tracking headphones
In February 2014, Apple was granted a patent for health monitoring headphones that can detect body temperature, heart rate and perspiration levels. This "sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets" adds evidence to the theory that Apple has a keen interest in the fitness and health industry.


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