Home / Apple / Apple updates a major cover invention that reveals near invisible apertures that can act as a device speaker and more

Apple updates a major cover invention that reveals near invisible apertures that can act as a device speaker and more



On Thursday, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple related to selectively strengthening coverslips such as the edges of the coverslip to improve the protection of the glass. This is a topic and project that Apple has been working on for years, which is covered in patent reports mentioned here: 01, 02, 03 and 04. iPhone 11 is proof of their patented technology on the market today. Still, there is another side to Apple’s invention regarding the use of cover apertures in coverslips that can be used in future Apple devices to deliver sound that we cover in today’s report. This has not yet hit the market, and it has potential value for future devices.

A quick overview of the first part of the invention begins with Apple̵

7;s patent FIG. 1B presented below where they note that the coverslip # 104 can extend over the entire top surface of the housing (# 102). In such a case, the edges of the coverslip may be aligned, or substantially aligned, with the sides of the housing. Given that the thickness of the coverslip can be quite thin (ie less than a few millimeters), the glass material of the coverslip can be selected from available glass which is stronger. For example, aluminosilicate glass (eg DVTS from Corning) is a suitable choice for the glass material of the coverslip.

Apple’s patent FIG. 2 below schematically shows a chemical treatment process for immersing the coverslip in a heated potassium bath (No. 203 – for example a molten KNO3 bath), for selective chemical reinforcement of the coverslip.

2 x Apple Patent Figures 1b 2 10 and 11 Reinforced Glass with Reinforced Blender Edge - Patent Apple

More importantly, Apple has already used its glass technology on iPhones such as the iPhone 11 which used an ion-based processor and promoted on Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro campaign page as presented below.

3 X glass

(Click on the image below)

Where this patent has further potential in the future is that Apple is discussing the possibility of deliberately producing apertures (apertures) made in the coverslip. This concept has been granted three patents since 2011. In addition to this current patent which has granted them two granted patents alone, they also received a new patent in 2018.

Our cover graphics are from another such patent that covers this feature that we released in January 2017. In the current report, we presented a reader with a video showing how Sony used this type of technology to form speakers in the TV coverslip. that they called “Acoustic Surface.” You can see the introduction of this below. This would be really cool on a new iMac.

The apertures can be used to let the sound pass through the cover glass, either as an extra speaker or as the only speaker that makes a device like an iPhone more waterproof.

Second, it could technically be used in a future iPhone design to hide the face cameras. This is what Apple’s Chinese competitor Xiaomi is partially proposing to introduce next year, along with a fingerprint scanner below the screen.

The video below shows their branded dot smartphone with a small visible camera compared to the 2021 smartphone where the camera is hidden under the glass. The last scene in the video shows a user taking a selfie with the hidden face camera. Some comments I have read say that if you look closely enough, you will see where the glass hole cutout is – but for the most part it is invisible to the user.

Apple has the patented technology to produce such a screen with a hidden camera hole, and it’s just a question of whether Apple feels that this technology is ready for prime time or not.

Finally, this week’s continuation of the cover glass reinforcement patent application is technically a “continuation patent” which means that Apple has added new patent claims against its original invention. In this continuation patent, Apple has added 20 new requirements as presented below.

The 20 patent claims listed in its June 2020 patent focused on one thing: “The Electronic Device.” In this week’s continuation patent, the claims cover two main topics: (1) ten requirements apply to “A consumer electronic product”, and (2) ten requirements relate to “A method of assembling an electronic product.

All of the new claims are presented below with emphasis on certain features of the Apple patent either in bold or yellow underlined.

A consumer electronic product

  1. A consumer electronic product, comprising: a housing; electrical components arranged at least partially internally in said housing; and a coverslip coupled to the housing, the coverslip comprising a selectively chemically reinforced surface area.
  1. A consumer electronic product as claimed in claim 1, wherein: the coverslip further comprises another chemically reinforced surface area; and the selectively chemically reinforced surface area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe coverslip has improved reinforcement that is greater than reinforcement of the second chemically reinforced surface area.
  1. A consumer electronic product as claimed in claim 1, wherein: the coverslip further comprises another surface area which is chemically reinforced with compression stress; and the selectively chemically reinforced surface area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe coverslip has improved reinforcement with an improved compression stress greater than the compression stress of the other chemically reinforced surface area.
  1. A consumer electronic product as claimed in claim 1, wherein: the coverslip further comprises another surface area which is chemically reinforced with a depth of the compaction layer; and the selectively chemically reinforced surface area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe coverslip has improved strengthening with an improved depth of the compaction layer it is deeper than the depth of the compaction layer in the second chemically reinforced surface base.
  1. A consumer electronic product according to claim 1, characterized in that: the coverslip further comprises another surface area which is chemically reinforced with a central voltage; and the selectively chemically reinforced surface area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe coverslip has improved reinforcement with an improved central stress greater than the central stress of the second chemically reinforced surface area.
  1. Consumer electronic product according to claim 1, characterized in that the selectively, chemically reinforced surface area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe coverslip is patterned.
  1. Consumer electronic product as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the selectively, chemically reinforced surface area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe coverslip is formed with a photolithographic pattern arranged on the coverslip.
  1. Consumer electronic product as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the selectively chemically reinforced surface area comprises an edge extremity of the coverslip.
  1. The consumer’s electronic product as specified in claim 1 where: the coverslip has at least one aperture that extends through the coverslipand an opening edge area adjacent to the opening; and the selectively chemically reinforced surface area comprises the opening edge area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe coverslip.
  1. A consumer electronic product as claimed in claim 1, wherein: the coverslip further has a first main surface area which is chemically reinforced; and the selectively chemically reinforced area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe coverslip comprises an opposite main surface of the coverslip which has improved reinforcement, which is larger than the reinforcement of the first large surface of the coverslip.

A method of assembling an electronic product

  1. A method of assembling an electronic product comprising: obtaining coverslips; selectively chemically strengthening a surface area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe coverslip differently than chemically strengthening another surface area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe coverslip; and then attach the coverslip to a housing for the electronic product.
  2. A method as claimed in claim 11, characterized in that the selective chemical reinforcement comprises improved strengthening of one surface region which is greater than strengthening of the other surface region.
  1. A method as claimed in claim 12, characterized in that the reinforced reinforcement of one surface area comprises electric field-assisted ion exchange reinforcement.
  1. A method as claimed in claim 12, characterized in that the reinforcement of the second surface region comprises placing the second surface region in a heated solution for a period, so that at least one component of the heated solution can diffuse into the second surface area. .
  1. A method as claimed in claim 12, characterized in that the improved reinforcement of one surface region comprises both: a) electric field-assisted ion exchange reinforcement of one surface region and b) placing one surface area in a heated solution for a period of time to allow at least one component of the heated solution to diffuse into one surface area.
  1. A method as claimed in claim 12, characterized in that the reinforced reinforcement of one surface region comprises both: a) placing one surface area in a first heated solution for a first period of time to allow at least one component of the first heated solution solution for diffusing into one surface area b) placing one surface area in a second heated solution for another period of time so that at least one component of the second heated solution diffuses into one surface area.
  1. A method as claimed in claim 12, characterized in that: one surface area comprises a peripheral edge area; and the reinforced reinforcement of one surface area comprises improved reinforcement of the peripheral edge area.
  1. A method of assembling an electronic product comprising: obtaining coverslips; shielding a part of the coverslip, wherein the shielding provides the coverslip with at least one shielded part and at least one unshielded part; to chemically strengthen the at least one unshielded part of the coverslip; and then attach the coverslip to a housing for the electronic product.
  1. A method according to claim 18, characterized in that reinforcement comprises patterns of the at least one shielded part of the coverslip.
  1. The method as claimed in claim 18 where reinforcement includes photolithographic pattern the at least one shielded part of the coverslip.

Apple’s continuation of patent application 20200277224 published Thursday by the US Patent Office was filed back in May 2020. The first aspect of the patent covering reinforced glass for coverslips is generally met with at least the iPhone 11. The timing of marketing for the part of the invention relating to reinforced coverslips with openings to support new features is unknown at this time.

10.51XF - Patent Report Line for Continuation




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