image via AppleInsider
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today released more than 20 patents that Apple has applied for over the past year, covering products that may or may not ever be available for sale. AppleInsider reviewed some of the patents: one of which is for an anti-tampering label, and another for a new accelerometer-based user interface. A third is for a revolutionary new dock that could fit any current - or likely future - device.
The anti-tampering label would attach to different spots inside of a device, such as on a case lid and a part of the chassis, so that if you were to try to take the device apart you would rip, damage or create some other visible mark on the label. The label would also be sensitive to bends beyond a certain point, so you couldn't even practically take the device only partially apart:
The single device can become substantially opened when the first object is tilted with respect to the second object at more than a certain angle, such as an angle that is greater than about 10 degrees or greater than about 40 degrees. Alternatively, the single device can become substantially opened when the first object and second object are separated more than about one inch apart at any location where the first object and second object touch to form the single device.
image via AppleInsider
This patent shows the extent to which Apple is trying to discourage third-party servicing and repair of its products. Many observers, as well as servicing professionals, decry the moves, saying that it pretty much makes Apple devices disposable. AppleInsider notes that iFixit had shown, in its teardown, how Apple's use of glue to put together the new 5G iPod nano made it almost impossible to service.
"We wish Apple would a little effort into making iPods repairable, instead of forcing people to throw them away when they break," the solutions provider said. "Recent iPods have become increasingly difficult to successfully repair."
image via Patently Apple
Yet another patent describes a strange new universal dock that is morphable and could work with a wide range of handheld devices. The unprecedented product would use a new elastic sponge-like material that would mold itself to the base of - for example - an iPhone or an iPod, and "lock" if you only have one type of device. If, on the other hand, you have a whole range of media players (or even non-Apple devices like BlackBerry smartphones), then you can set the base to "reset," and it would revert to its original flat surface, so you can place a different device in it. The new dock would also have a remote control.