Interesting Patents | Apple | Tuesday, March 7, 2023
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants hundreds of new patents every week, showcasing developments in technology and innovation. In our Interesting Patents series, we highlight exciting US patent applications and patents recently issued by the USPTO. The patent system enables the protection of innovative ideas, and newly published patent applications provide a glimpse into the future of technology and innovation.
In this edition of #InterestingPatents, we look at Apple’s new patent for a new laptop that can wirelessly communicate with a portable device, enabling users to share items between devices and control their laptops from the touchscreen of their portable devices.
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Apple was issued a patent for a laptop that can wirelessly communicate with an overlapping portable device. The communication between the two devices may utilize the camera and display of the portable device. The patent, titled “Electronic devices with overlapping displays,” was issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office on March 7, 2023.
The laptop can be a touch-insensitive laptop display, while the lower portion supports a keyboard and trackpad. The patent application describes a way to determine where the portable device display overlaps the laptop display based on the images of the visual content and wirelessly communicates with the portable device in a linked mode of operation.
The laptop allows the user to share an item between the laptop and the portable device. The item displayed on the laptop can be dragged and dropped onto the overlapping portable device display. The user input can also include drag-and-drop input to share the item from the laptop to the portable device. The others inputs can also include gestures from the portable device display such as swipe gestures.
The portable device may serve as a “window” into the content on the laptop on the portion covered by the portable device. In some situations, the user can adjust the operation of the laptop, such as audio playback, through the portable device that overlaps the laptop. Additionally, the laptop can adjust the visual content on display, while the portable device uses the camera to capture the images.
In summary, Apple’s new patent may allow users to share items between devices and control their laptops from the touchscreen on their portable devices. The connection between the devices enables them to provide a “window” into the device’s content between multiple devices.
A system may include electronic devices that communicate wirelessly. When positioned so that a pair of devices overlap or are near to one another, the devices may operate in a linked mode. During linked operations, devices may communicate wirelessly while input gathering and content displaying operations are shared among the devices. One or both of a pair of devices may have sensors. An orientation sensor, motion sensor, optical sensor, and/or other sensors may be used in identifying conditions in which to enter the linked mode and to identify a region where displays in the pair of devices overlap.
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