Apple Patent Applications: Tamper-Resistant Labels for Hardware, Accelerometer-Based

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published over 20 newly-released patent applications from Apple, and AppleInsider highlights two of the more interesting ones covering tamper-resistant labels for detecting unauthorized opening of devices and accelerometer-based navigation of menus on Apple's handheld devices.




The first patent application, entitled "Tamper resistant label for detecting device openings" and filed on August 1st, 2008, addresses a unique type of tamper-resistant label that could be fixed across a seam in an electronic device such that twisting or bending the label beyond a certain point would damage the label, leaving evidence of unauthorized access to the device's internals.
The label can be arranged and affixed such that the label rips, tears or is otherwise damaged to a point that it cannot be repaired when the device is fully or at least substantially opened. 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. Such a rip or damaging of the label can then be readily noticed by an authorized technician or representative when the entire device is turned in for official servicing or repairs. In some embodiments, the label can remain intact when the device is only partially opened or "cracked open," such that it is possible to peek inside the device without damaging the label.
Apple appears to have been taking an increased interest recently in addressing circumstances which could result in a customer voiding their warranty due to misuse of or unauthorized access to the internals of their devices. Another recent patent application from Apple described methods by which a device could determine and record whether it had been exposed to a variety of conditions including liquids, extreme temperatures, excessive shock, and unauthorized tampering. Repair technicians could later access these recorded "abuse events" in order to determine what may have caused a given device failure.

The second patent application, entitled "Acceleration navigation of media device displays " and filed on June 28th, 2008, addresses the concept of using an accelerometer within a portable media device such as an iPod to navigate menus within the user interface.
In response to the device being physically moved, circuitry of the device can receive acceleration data generated by one or more accelerometers. The circuitry can be configured to respond to the acceleration data by presenting a second display. The second display can be, for example, another menu in the menu hierarchy or the same menu with a different option highlighted. Highlighted, as used herein, includes any means or method for emphasizing one option in relation to another. Common forms of highlighting one or more options include, for example, a bolder font, a colored-in-area around the option, a line around the option, etc. A cover flow type of approach (using, e.g., album covers or other clip art) can also be used to highlight an option.
The patent application describes the use of "flicking" accelerations in various directions to navigate user interface menus and select options. Under certain circumstances, accelerometer-based input could be configured to require that a physical button be held down before being registered, reducing unintentional input.




Apple uses accelerometers in variety of products, including its iPhone, iPod touch, and iPod nano, in order to sense device orientation for such tasks as automatically rotating screen display between portrait and landscape mode, as well as for application input. Other Apple devices, such as the company's notebooks, incorporate accelerometers to sense when they have been dropped, allowing sensitive components such as the hard drive to deactivate and brace for impact, limiting potential damage.

Article Link: Apple Patent Applications: Tamper-Resistant Labels for Hardware, Accelerometer-Based Menu Navigation
 

nathbeadle

macrumors newbie
Apr 8, 2009
4
0
Flick this!

Not sure if I'm a fan of the flicking idea to go through menus... On one hand (pun intended) use of a device could be improved without need of a second hand. But my big concern is that flicking takes the screen away from your eyes so that you're constantly having to refocus on the screen before moving on
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,195
Just more “we thought of it so we’ll patent it just in case” patents, I suspect. Apple does a lot of that.
 

rwilliams

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2009
3,604
694
Raleigh, NC
Apple appears to have been taking an increased interest recently in addressing circumstances which could result in a customer voiding their warranty due to misuse of or unauthorized access to the internals of their devices. Another recent patent application from Apple described methods by which a device could determine and record whether it had been exposed to a variety of conditions including liquids, extreme temperatures, excessive shock, and unauthorized tampering. Repair technicians could later access these recorded "abuse events" in order to determine what may have caused a given device failure.
I wonder if they would use this on the unibody notebooks, since they don't seem to be too keen on regular folks replacing their own hard drives, memory, and batteries. Their current stance is that only Apple authorized people should do these things, correct?

And don't get me started on water damage. My iPod Touch died on me after I put a miniscule amount of water on it while installing an InvisibleShield, yet somehow the sensor got "tripped", if you will. I've had devices completely submerged in water that were more dependable.
 

flopticalcube

macrumors G4
I wonder if they would use this on the unibody notebooks, since they don't seem to be too keen on regular folks replacing their own hard drives, memory, and batteries. Their current stance is that only Apple authorized people should do these things, correct?

And don't get me started on water damage. My iPod Touch died on me after I put a miniscule amount of water on it while installing an InvisibleShield, yet somehow the sensor got "tripped", if you will. I've had devices completely submerged in water that were more dependable.
Apple has been making more and more of their devices less user-serviceable. It will get to the point where no one will be able to do anything without paying Apple to do it for them. Its kind of sad really but it does chime with Steve's original vision of the Mac as a computing appliance.
 

rwilliams

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2009
3,604
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Raleigh, NC
Apple has been making more and more of their devices less user-serviceable. It will get to the point where no one will be able to do anything without paying Apple to do it for them. Its kind of sad really but it does chime with Steve's original vision of the Mac as a computing appliance.
I hear you. Not being able to change a battery in an iPod or iPhone is about the dumbest thing I've ever heard. But whatever it takes to keep reaching into the pockets of their customers, I suppose.
 

Cleve

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2007
195
0
The packaging one is pretty lame, I must say. The accelerometer one is something I've already seen in practice
 

DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,181
670
So we only can go to Apple for service?

Is that what they want with this?
 

rstansby

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2007
493
0
I hear you. Not being able to change a battery in an iPod or iPhone is about the dumbest thing I've ever heard. But whatever it takes to keep reaching into the pockets of their customers, I suppose.
You can change the battery in an iPod. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Energiz...ci_sku=8440001&ref=06&loc=01&id=1183160885228

For a large percentage of users the battery on a Cell phone or ipod will never be changed, or will only be changed once every 3-5 years.

I think the dumbest thing I've ever heard is wasting money and space to make the battery on a cell phone removable, only to end up with a battery door that is constantly falling off or coming open. I think the "permanent" rechargeable batteries on the iPhone and iPod are absolutely genius.

P.S. before you mention power users who need 2 batteries for their cell phone you should consider the multitude of external batteries available for cell phones and iPods. There is no reason to be limited to one battery charge per day.
 

eastcoastsurfer

macrumors 6502a
Feb 15, 2007
600
27
I hear you. Not being able to change a battery in an iPod or iPhone is about the dumbest thing I've ever heard. But whatever it takes to keep reaching into the pockets of their customers, I suppose.
I'm less concerned about the iPod/iPhone and more concerned about their laptops. Apple charges insane prices for HD upgrades and memory. If I replace these items myself it should not void the warranty. Currently it doesn't since I have replaced the HD and RAM in my MBP and have also had 2 warranty services in the last month.
 

cameronjpu

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2007
1,293
65
How would one distinguish the damage to the tamper evident sticker done by the user when removing the case vs the damage done by Apple when removing the case to see if the sticker was damaged by the user removing the case?

:rolleyes:
 

daxomni

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2009
453
0
People that open their Apple products don't care that it voids the warranty.
Speak for yourself.

I opened up my MBP to replace Apple's slow and tiny HDD with something faster and larger and yet I still expect them to fix my laptop if it fails due to their own poor workmanship. Well I did, until I read about how Apple (dis)honors their warranties here on Mac Rumors and realized that Apple only fixes unblemished notebooks that never get scratched or dinged from actual use in the real world.
 

JPark

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2006
659
147
Prior Art???

The "tamper detecting label" has been around for years, maybe decades. How in the world did they get a patent for this? I have examples of prior art sitting right here in my front room.
 

Passels

macrumors member
Jun 22, 2009
72
3
My Olympus camera already does this.... Awesome while skiing and wearing bulky gloved.
 

MacTech68

macrumors 68020
Mar 16, 2008
2,206
160
Australia, Perth
...don't get me started on water damage. My iPod Touch died on me after I put a miniscule amount of water on it while installing an InvisibleShield, yet somehow the sensor got "tripped", if you will. I've had devices completely submerged in water that were more dependable.
Cover your headphone socket with tape when applying the shield.

;)
________
vaporizer reviews
 
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rwilliams

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2009
3,604
694
Raleigh, NC
I got my MacBook serviced earlier this year (under warranty), but was really afraid that they weren't going to do so for free based on the way the "Genius" responded when I told him how much memory and hard drive space I had in my machine. It was one of those "oh really?" type responses - not what you want to hear when asking for repair service. :cool:
 

john0879

macrumors newbie
Mar 5, 2009
26
0
How would one distinguish the damage to the tamper evident sticker done by the user when removing the case vs the damage done by Apple when removing the case to see if the sticker was damaged by the user removing the case?

:rolleyes:
From the patent application:

"In some embodiments, the label can remain intact when the device is only partially opened or 'cracked open,' such that it is possible to peek inside the device without damaging the label."

They would have a way to partially open the device and see if the label is damaged. I would imagine that after check the label would be damaged after fully opened to service and would be replaced at the end of the servicing.
 

rwilliams

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2009
3,604
694
Raleigh, NC
Cover your headphone socket with tape when applying the shield.

;)
For sure. I still don't know how water even got in there. As I said, the amount of water on the iPod was very minimal, which is apparently all it takes to screw one up. Apple won't repair the non-functioning touchscreen unless I fork over $140.
 

daxomni

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2009
453
0
Can we all stop sunday quarterbacking Patents already? 99.9% of the comments get it completely wrong.
That's still a better record than the US Patent Office can claim. I say put the Monday quarterbacks in charge and clean up the place for once.
 

JonHimself

macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2004
1,553
4
Toronto, Ontario
I would love to see landscape home screen(s). The BB Storm has something similar, but I would really like it if when I rotated the phone the dock items move to the right (or left) side and the rest of the icons just rotate 90 degrees.. would be great.
 
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