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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:22 PM   #1
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Apple Patents Nearly Invisible 'Microslot Antennas' Allowing for Smaller Devices




Apple has been awarded a patent (via AppleInsider) for 'microslot antenna' technology, which could enable 'invisible' radio antennas to be embedded into the housing of a Mac, iPhone or iPad to save space inside and allow for more compact devices.

Notebook computer with integrated wireless antenna (20) on device housing
The antennas would use microscopic slots in the housing, with widths of just a few microns,*making them almost invisible to the naked eye. The patent shows a variety of possible locations for the antennas on a laptop, though the same approach would likely be taken with iPhones and iPads also.

Top view of microslot antenna design supporting multiple frequencies
Current devices may contain antennas for GSM, 3G/LTE, GPS, wifi and Bluetooth, though some of these may be combined. The iPhone 5, for example, uses just two antennas for the five functions, using rapid frequency switching to enable one antenna to do two jobs. Eliminating the need for internal antenna space altogether would, though, allow for slimmer and smaller devices.

As TechCrunch observes, this could also create the possibility of an all-aluminum case. Apple has previously had to have a small area of glass or plastic to provide radio windows for the internal antennas. Microslot antennas would eliminate this need, perhaps leading to more Mac-like iPhones and iPads in future.

Apple's interest in the possibility of implementing microslot antennas dates back to at least 2007 when the patent was filed, meaning that the concept may be requiring significant refinement before arriving in a shipping product or may have been scrapped entirely by this point. Still, it is clear that Apple is continuing to look for ways to handle the increasing complexity of wireless communications while maintaining its design goals for size and aesthetics.

Article Link: Apple Patents Nearly Invisible 'Microslot Antennas' Allowing for Smaller Devices
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:23 PM   #2
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I'm always simultaneously fascinated & hopeful when I see patents come through like this. Really makes me curious and optimistic as to the continued and infinite possibilities in technology.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:24 PM   #3
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I read that as "Apple Patents Microsoft" for a brief second there.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:30 PM   #4
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I read that as "Apple Patents Microsoft" for a brief second there.
Let Samsung try to copy that patent .
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Old Feb 21, 2013, 10:08 AM   #5
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Let Samsung try to copy that patent .
Yawn.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:30 PM   #6
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I read that as "Apple Patents Microsoft" for a brief second there.
You weren't the only one..
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:32 PM   #7
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go apple! iphones are too thick and heavy. i want it to be lighter be few grams and thinner by few mms
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:33 PM   #8
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Good, I've been wondering when they were going to make the iPhone 5 thinner. That sucker is way too thick for me!

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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:43 PM   #9
mozumder
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So if this patent was filed in 2007

then that means it's not going to be seen in a product.

Something like this would have arrived in a product by 2010. Seeing that it's 2013 already, it's not going to happen. There was something fundamentally wrong with the implementation.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:44 PM   #10
driceman
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Even though I understood the need for glass for the antennas in the iPhone, I always thought it made it a little bit of the odd one out compared to the iPad and Mac. I guess Apple is getting around this, too. Always love hearing about patents and what innovation could be in the works.

EDIT: Although, as the person above me pointed out, if this dates back to 2007 maybe there's nothing to see here.

...I'll bet it would make Safari snappier though. Had to say it.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:44 PM   #11
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Good, I've been wondering when they were going to make the iPhone 5 thinner. That sucker is way too thick for me!

Haha, I know what you mean. What I'd be more excited about is the ability to make it all aluminum and to move away from the current antenna design. I don't like it being so boxy. It's more difficult to pick up.

I would LOVE the iPad mini design/form factor on the iPhone.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 06:27 PM   #12
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Good, I've been wondering when they were going to make the iPhone 5 thinner. That sucker is way too thick for me!

Quit your bitching.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:03 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dr McKay View Post
I read that as "Apple Patents Microsoft" for a brief second there.
Or as
“Apple Patents Nearly Invisible 'Microsoft'”
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:25 PM   #14
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Bring 4G LTE to Mac!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr McKay View Post
I read that as "Apple Patents Microsoft" for a brief second there.
Lol. Same here.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:09 PM   #15
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Bring 4G LTE to Mac!
So that you do not need your MBA/MBP AND your iPhone!? Tim Cook says: Nooooooooo!

;-)
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:54 PM   #16
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iOS 7 FTW!
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 02:22 PM   #17
TheNextBigThing
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So that you do not need your MBA/MBP AND your iPhone!? Tim Cook says: Nooooooooo!

;-)
Maybe 3-5 years from now, I'll not be bringing with me my broadband prepaid usb stick every-time I go out with my Macbook Pro. I mean, I have to insert the usb broadband connection, eject, insert, eject...

Year 2016: Inserting a broadband usb stick to your Mac is a thing of the past. 4G LTE, built-in on every Mac.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 03:03 PM   #18
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Theres innovation for you fandroids out there
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 04:20 PM   #19
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You ever squint and try and see the tiny holes the pulsing light on your laptop hides behind. Crazy!
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:05 PM   #20
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I don't see how this is original. It looks like an aperture coupled microstrip antenna. The slots are in an array, but still, not anything special. Maybe because they're integrating it into the metalic body of the computer? Is that the patent? "To use the computer body as an antenna."
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:13 PM   #21
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Only a matter of time before someone rips this off and people here start griping that Apple is "stifling innovation." I don't even see the point of patents anymore.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:29 PM   #22
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Only a matter of time before someone rips this off and people here start griping that Apple is "stifling innovation." I don't even see the point of patents anymore.
Like they ripped off Apple's current antenna design right? Oh wait, nobody did this because it's crappy. Becaus of this "great" design (at least partly) iPhone is the only LTE-enabled phone on Verizon that is uncapable of simultaneous voice and data transfer. The only reason for such design is Apple's preference for form over function. Nobody else does it.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 03:27 PM   #23
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Only a matter of time before someone rips this off and people here start griping that Apple is "stifling innovation." I don't even see the point of patents anymore.
Patents ENCOURAGE innovation because they protect companies that spend their own dollars on R & D.

That patent helps companies recover R & D costs. Without that patent other companies would swoop in and steal that idea at zero expense.... which would prohibit the inventor from recouping their R & D costs. If you don't have that patent protection, there is NO incentive for a company to spend billions of dollars trying to invent the next wheel. Their R & D expenses would essentially bring zero profit for them.... and would allow copycat companies a free ride. This would all STIFLE innovation by reducing the amount spent on R & D. Patents actually protect companies that work hard to find something new. Without that protection their R & D is basically a free gift to their competitors.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 06:20 PM   #24
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Only a matter of time before someone rips this off and people here start griping that Apple is "stifling innovation." I don't even see the point of patents anymore.
Just what I was thinking. When someone copies Apple, Apple loses either way.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:18 PM   #25
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Reminds me of this story from a few years back

Apple's Supply Chain Secret: Hoard Lasers
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