Apple patent applications hint of next-gen plans

May 7, 2012 | Source: PC World

(Credit: Apple)

Apple has filed 14 new patent applications, including an advanced new haptics system, a new battery design, a new camera feature, and some modifications to the Mac mini and high-speed cables, reports Patently Apple.

The system would allow an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch’s display to deform to make a button, an arrow, or a map pop out of the screen to give it three-dimensional depth.

The tiered haptic display could also be pressure sensitive, a significantly beneficial feature for drawing and painting apps, for example.

Apple’s new high speed cable, as shown in a recent patent filing, would be capable of high-speed data transmission with low insertion loss, and would be flexible so that they can be bent and twisted without getting damaged, reports Patently Apple. The report suggests that the patent could be an indication that the next iPhone will have a round dock connector.

A patent filed by Apple relating to iOS devices’ camera covers the method of deciding the exposure of images. Apple wants to add a “blowout prevention” stage for image processing, to stop overexposure producing pure white pixels in a photograph, or underexposure producing black pixels.

A fourth patent filed by Apple covers a battery design with multiple thicknesses, which could enable iPhones or iPads to be thinner. Last month, we reported that the next iPhone could be 1.4mm thinner than the iPhone 4S, by using a thinner battery, metal back and in-cell technology in the device.

Apple also updated a patent relating to the Mac mini, filed a patent for high-speed memory sockets and interposers and more.