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Apple Tech Watch: OLED Displays, MagSafe Power-Data Connector, Live Device Configuration

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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A number of reports today are highlighting possible technical improvements for future Apple products, and while much of the information is based on patent applications that may or may not ever see the light of day, it does provide an interesting glimpse into some of Apple's areas of research.

First, 9 to 5 Mac reports on a recent job posting from Apple looking for a host of new engineers focused on display technologies including LCD and/or OLED. OLED technology for Apple's displays has been a popular source of rumors dating back many years, but various technological hurdles have slowed their adoption throughout the industry. But increasing numbers of smartphones are utilizing OLED technology, increasingly the likelihood that Apple is devoting at least some effort to the technology on a test basis to evaluate it against other options.

The job postings come just after a report from Patently Apple summarized a set of OLED-related patent applications filed by Apple over the past several years and published in recent months, indicating that the company is indeed thinking about how the technology could be used in future devices.


Apple's MagSafe power-data connector

A second report today from AppleInsider looks at a newly-published patent application from Apple describing a MagSafe interface capable of providing both power and data connectivity to a device.Thus, what is needed are circuits, apparatus, and methods that provide a power and data transfer system that can supply both power and data to a laptop or other mobile computing device using a single connection. To reduce the clutter caused by multiple cables, it is further desirable to have a power and data adapter that can provide power and data to the mobile computing device using a single cable. It is also desirable to have a connector system that can connect this single cable to the mobile computing device. To avoid the consequence of laptops being pulled to the ground when a cable is tripped over, it is desirable that the connector system easily disengages when the cable is pulled away from the mobile computing device. Apple's proposed solution looks very much like the existing MagSafe power connector used on its notebook computers, but with some of its contact pins devoted to data transmission such as fiber optic lines, USB, DisplayPort, or other standards.


Finally, Patently Apple reports on a patent application describing the use of a device's housing as an input/output device, expanding on earlier patents addressing touch-sensitive bezels.

Apple's latest implementation, which could extend to computers, portable devices, and other equipment, extends use of the housing as an input/output device to also allow the device itself to reconfigure itself on a live basis. The reconfiguration would be accomplished by sensing via proximity sensors, RFID/NFC or other means such as events as the approach of a user or peripherals such as USB connectors, allowing the device to light up icons within the housing to offer the user relevant options for input via the housing or direct the user to the necessary external port required for the connector being used.

Further implementations include an entire virtual surface that could display a keyboard or other input methods and allow the user to easily configure operation, such as by moving a virtual number pad or volume controls to a preferred location.

Article Link: Apple Tech Watch: OLED Displays, MagSafe Power-Data Connector, Live Device Configuration
 

maokh

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2007
260
18
Seattle, WA
Oh...please stay away from OLED until its ready. Not a big fan of screen door displays and brownish whites.
 
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Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,929
1,239
Washington DC
I like the RFID external control idea.

Imagine little magnetic sticky toys that you could program to do different things.

'Move the little cat to show the desktop.'
'Slide the Homer Simpson toy to make Final Cut render.'


They obviously wouldn't repace ther traditional methods of doing these things, but they'd be a cool addition for certain repetitive tasks.
 
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fabianjj

macrumors 6502
Aug 28, 2007
319
0
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; sv-se) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Definitely interesting I wonder in what timeframe the magnetic data connector would be released should it see the light of day. Because I would certainly hope the whole industry moves to a unified standard in connectors, for example if everyone else settles on light peak (if intel can ever get the full implementation out to the market) for pretty much all data connections (audio, video, data, Ethernet, accessories) then it would be unfortunate if apple went and decided that everything should use their magnetic porta instead on macs.
 
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Piggie

macrumors G3
Feb 23, 2010
8,694
3,163
Hey Apple.

How about Wireless charging and Wireless data transfer?

Let's drop cables in the future please.
 
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204353

Cancelled
Jul 13, 2008
955
114
Of course they've been testing OLED. Steve Jobs himself discussed how they simply can't make OLED pixels as small as those on the Retina Display. LCD is a much more mature and colour-accurate technology (again, as Steve also stated with the introduction to the iPhone 4), so I can't see Apple adopting OLED for a long time. The technology has a long way to go before it meets Apple's standards.

Skip to exactly 42 minutes to hear Steve talk about the IPS display technology vs OLED.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1edQuxclUs
 
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benguild

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2003
821
36
I'm assuming that the power cable stuff is for ethernet. Because most people don't need it, but the Apple Store does and it seems like most "desktop" mobile situations would benefit from a cabled internet connection.
 
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Nishi100

macrumors 6502a
Mar 27, 2010
867
0
I saw that Patent over a month ago on another site. Macrumors is becoming Faux news.

If you saw this patent a month ago, on another site, then how is this site false / fake (wikipedia)? All that Mac Rumours would be is slow at picking information (which it normally isn't, I hasten to add), not fake, unless the patent is, somehow, fake (is that what you're trying to say?); but that's what a rumours is: it can be true, or "fake".

*Just because something on a site could be fake, doesn't mean that the site is fake - just FYI.*

He probably found the word: faux, as a synonym for another word, in an attempt to sound superior.
 
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thirumalkumaran

macrumors member
Apr 22, 2010
42
0
finally apple display has one connector ...

the magsafe connector patent suggests, that apple displays may finally use only one cable and connector to expand the data and power to & fro laptop...

looking at the connector, it is compatible with old models for only power.

Let this come soon...
 
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JonKean

macrumors member
Sep 16, 2009
30
0
The magsafe patent is obviously Apples implementation of Intels Light Peak technology (which was first showcased on a mac pro, among other Apple related interests)
 
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vincenz

macrumors 601
Oct 20, 2008
4,271
155
That magsafe connector doesn't seem to be a bad idea. Too bad there are already so many other methods...
 
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Trius

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2008
843
104
Magsafe replace 30 pin connector?

Does anyone else think it would be cool if this new magsafe could potentially replace Apples 10 year old 30 pin connector? I think it would be cool to have a magnetic magsafe connection for my iphone instead of the 30 pin connector. It would also bring consistency to all of apples products. 1 cable that charges/syncs all of its mobile devices.
 
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DocNYz

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2008
625
40
East Coast, USA
the magsafe connector patent suggests, that apple displays may finally use only one cable and connector to expand the data and power to & fro laptop...

looking at the connector, it is compatible with old models for only power.

Let this come soon...

This would be awesome. Especially if you could then use either the display itself or a "box" on the cable somewhere between the display and the comp as a hub for all of your USB and FW devices since if it does in fact use LightPeak and that can reach it's suggested 10Gbps transfer rate, that could easily handle all of that at once.

I also think the port identifying lights/indicators is a great idea as I use my computer in the dark a lot and hate to have to like feel for the outlines of the ports or use some external LED light to make sure i'm putting it in the earphones instead of mic or FW800 instead of the ethernet, etc.
 
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yashrg

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2008
131
11
Does anyone else think it would be cool if this new magsafe could potentially replace Apples 10 year old 30 pin connector? I think it would be cool to have a magnetic magsafe connection for my iphone instead of the 30 pin connector. It would also bring consistency to all of apples products. 1 cable that charges/syncs all of its mobile devices.

I would like that. However, the iPod touch is much thinner than the magsafe connector. So it probably wouldn't be compatible.
 
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Reddmanz

macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2010
169
0
Also, there would be one hell of an uproar if they did due to the huge amount of docks etc which people will have already purchased.
 
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KindredMAC

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2003
973
210
Does anyone else think it would be cool if this new magsafe could potentially replace Apples 10 year old 30 pin connector? I think it would be cool to have a magnetic magsafe connection for my iphone instead of the 30 pin connector. It would also bring consistency to all of apples products. 1 cable that charges/syncs all of its mobile devices.

I was thinking the exact same thing when reading the article!

I wouldn't even care if they made it thin and skinny as opposed to the traditional squatty one.
 
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