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  • Apple Working Toward Internal Fans for iDevices


    Based on the findings of two freshly uncovered patent applications, Apple is actively exploring internal fans - analogous to those found in laptops and computer towers - for inclusion in future iDevices.

    Naturally, such an inclusion of this aforementioned technology would require several significant tweaks over the type of internal fans found in other computers and mobile devices, specifically with regard to the size of the internal fans. Nonetheless, Apple seems interested in giving the iPhone and iPad a mechanism to cool their contained heat.

    Here is the abstract description for the mobile device cooling system envisioned by Apple:

    Originally Posted by :
    A cooling system for a mobile computing device configured to drive two devices, a fan and an alert device. The fan cools components of the mobile computing device by exchanging air between an inner cavity of the mobile computing device and an outer environment surrounding the mobile computing device. The alert device produces an alert, e.g., a vibration, for the mobile computing device. The cooling system includes a motor operably connected to a first device (either the fan or the alert device) and operably connected via a clutch to a second device (either the fan or the alert device). The clutch allows the second device to be selectively activated depending on a speed or rotational direction of a drive shaft of the motor.
    The patent application was filed in May 2011.

    Source: USPTO (via AppleInsider)
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Working Toward Internal Fans for iDevices started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      A fan running in an iPhone? Goodbye already not so great battery life.

      The need for a fan would mean hotter CPU that needs cooling which means it uses more power which mean lower battery life. And space that could be used for the battery is lost to the fan.

      How is this good? Or an advancement?
    1. RandyTG's Avatar
      RandyTG -
      You are thinking in terms of current phones, but they are obviously thinking in terms of future phones. They are also looking at ways to extend or improve battery life so the two could work better together.
    1. DoWoRkSoN's Avatar
      DoWoRkSoN -
      I like how apple comes up with a patent and ppl just jump to the conclusion that it'll be used on the next iDevice. Apple is thinking down the road trust me. You don't see this implemented for at least a couple of years if not later. They're just smart on getting ahead of everyone else.
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by DoWoRkSoN View Post
      I like how apple comes up with a patent and ppl just jump to the conclusion that it'll be used on the next iDevice. Apple is thinking down the road trust me. You don't see this implemented for at least a couple of years if not later. They're just smart on getting ahead of everyone else.
      Very true, and they'll prolly figure out how it can circulate efficiently (like the new MB 13") to increase battery life. Maybe the air will pass out of the dock connector or speaker/mic holes...
    1. oneduality's Avatar
      oneduality -
      That sounds like a horrible idea really ... fans fail .. I still have my 1st gen iphone from when apple first got into the phone market... I cannot imagine a fan lasting in that thing till 2012! ..

      I am aware the fan would only spin up most likely when needed.. but the big thing is that if the fan is in there it must be NECESSARY .. if it's necessary, what if it fails? ... I don't know about you guys but I'm a systems admin and I've also owned A LOT of computers over the years.. fan failure happens .. at least with a PC I can usually hear when the fan is nearing death... I can replace it or oil it .. Apple has had devices catch fire before AS IS ... if the fan fails and I don't know it, I don't want to have the thing catching fire in the middle of the night ..

      Rather than apply fans, why not work on improving efficiency to keep temperature down instead? .. we're at a point now where the innovation is really just pushing things beyond their limits and generating heat.. CPU's are in that boat... they keep just pushing the technology harder and ramping up fan and heatsink size.. .. Imagine in 10 years carrying a paperthin iphone with a 3 inch heatsink coming out the back =)

      Quote Originally Posted by thazsar View Post
      Very true, and they'll prolly figure out how it can circulate efficiently (like the new MB 13") to increase battery life. Maybe the air will pass out of the dock connector or speaker/mic holes...
      It's true but then again I am not a fan of Apple's patent tactics .. they patent anything and everything and then send in the hounds the moment anyone gets competitive.. I think that is abuse of the patent system and stifles innovation... it hurts the free market economy.. it suddenly isn't a free market anymore.

      I can understand blatant rip offs not being a good idea.. if someone clones your stuff and offers it 50% off that will confuse the consumer ... but the rounded corner patent? silly .. absolutely silly.. and patenting a fan inside of a mobile device is silly no matter how you spin it ..

      We seriously need some MAJOR patent reform.. it's being abused to kill competition.. competition is healthy for the the economy..
    1. PaterB's Avatar
      PaterB -
      wheres the article saying samsung s3 has overtaken iphone as the world best selling smartphone?
      i wanna see that in modmyi! = )
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      I think fans are backward thinking, we need a new way to deal with thermal issues, like seeing if it could recharge the battery for you so you wouldn't need to charge it.

      Appl£ you have the money, get some research into new ideas done
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by oneduality View Post
      That sounds like a horrible idea really ... fans fail .. I still have my 1st gen iphone from when apple first got into the phone market... I cannot imagine a fan lasting in that thing till 2012! ..

      I am aware the fan would only spin up most likely when needed.. but the big thing is that if the fan is in there it must be NECESSARY .. if it's necessary, what if it fails? ... I don't know about you guys but I'm a systems admin and I've also owned A LOT of computers over the years.. fan failure happens .. at least with a PC I can usually hear when the fan is nearing death... I can replace it or oil it .. Apple has had devices catch fire before AS IS ... if the fan fails and I don't know it, I don't want to have the thing catching fire in the middle of the night ..

      Rather than apply fans, why not work on improving efficiency to keep temperature down instead? .. we're at a point now where the innovation is really just pushing things beyond their limits and generating heat.. CPU's are in that boat... they keep just pushing the technology harder and ramping up fan and heatsink size.. .. Imagine in 10 years carrying a paperthin iphone with a 3 inch heatsink coming out the back =)



      It's true but then again I am not a fan of Apple's patent tactics .. they patent anything and everything and then send in the hounds the moment anyone gets competitive.. I think that is abuse of the patent system and stifles innovation... it hurts the free market economy.. it suddenly isn't a free market anymore.

      I can understand blatant rip offs not being a good idea.. if someone clones your stuff and offers it 50% off that will confuse the consumer ... but the rounded corner patent? silly .. absolutely silly.. and patenting a fan inside of a mobile device is silly no matter how you spin it ..

      We seriously need some MAJOR patent reform.. it's being abused to kill competition.. competition is healthy for the the economy..
      Ahhh, good points! Didn't think about the fail rate. Nvrmnd, scratch my first post!!!
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      Quote Originally Posted by DoWoRkSoN View Post
      I like how apple comes up with a patent and ppl just jump to the conclusion that it'll be used on the next iDevice. Apple is thinking down the road trust me. You don't see this implemented for at least a couple of years if not later. They're just smart on getting ahead of everyone else.
      Seriously! Also sometimes it's not even for future products whether you think it's patent trolling or not it's business strategy. If you get an idea with potential you patent immediately
    1. Legend_master's Avatar
      Legend_master -
      As somebody that repairs these phones, I say no moving parts. Would help me, but the consumer would have to pay for parts failure on that.
    1. Gaijinboy's Avatar
      Gaijinboy -
      Ok, might not make much sense for a phone (at the moment), but for larger devices, it might make sense. Without looking at models behind closed doors, it may be too quick to oust the idea.
    1. c0dy's Avatar
      c0dy -
      Quote Originally Posted by PaterB View Post
      wheres the article saying samsung s3 has overtaken iphone as the world best selling smartphone?
      i wanna see that in modmyi! = )
      Oh cool man! You're so awesome. I love my iPhone, but now that I know that the s3 has sold more units, I will definitely be buying one! Why make a decision on my own when all I have to do is care about what other people are buying. Thanks! = )
    1. recognition's Avatar
      recognition -
      Quote Originally Posted by PaterB View Post
      wheres the article saying samsung s3 has overtaken iphone as the world best selling smartphone?
      i wanna see that in modmyi! = )
      S3heep?! Haha! Who's the sheep now!? Follow the crowd man