MacDirectory Magazine

Winter-Spring 2012

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 47 of 115

COMMENT ARY A GLIMPSE INTO APPLE'S FUTURE PRODUCT RELEASES YSIS BY JACK PURCHER •WORDS BY MATTHEW SCHILDROTH PATENT ANAL FOR MORE, VISIT Apple's campaign of "Think Different" has certainly continued even after the death of the much- loved CEO who introduced it. Interestingly enough, one of Steve Jobs's biggest achievements looks as if it will grow to a magnitude that none of us would have expected at its initial release in 2007. Based on Apple's recent patent applications, this year looks as if it is going to be the year that the iDevice grows by leaps and bounds in security and function. Check out each of these patents below: Thunderbolt goes mobile You know that one change to the latest revisions of Apple's computers that you would hardly notice if you did not look closely? It is that little icon change to a lightning bolt on your video-out port known as Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is the copper-based version of Light Peak — a joint operation between Intel and Apple that can transfer data at up to 10Gbps (gigabits), and though in the real world it is expected to get up to only around 8Gbps, that is still a data transfer of around 1GB (gigabyte) per second. Now, take that technology and imagine it on your iDevice. Based on patents involving cable braiding, high voltage connections, and information about new connections between a portable media player and a display, it looks as if what you are imagining is going to come to light. The advantages of Thunderbolt on an iDevice are undeniably good: faster charging, incredibly fast syncing, and the possibility for new types of interoperability, particularly a monitor (iTV, anyone?). Cooling redesigned Another interesting patent not restricted to the iDevice line is something that may sound a little bit science fiction to you. The new system, based on ionic wind generation technology, is designed to use electrodes to produce airflow through the ionization of air molecules. In most instances, these electrodes are only able to pull air in a linear path from electrode A to electrode B, but by implementing (brace yourself, we are going a little bit Star Trek here) a deflector and sensors, Apple plans to route this ionic airflow only where it is needed without typical performance hits associated with the undeveloped technology such as weakened airflow and high power consumption. A cooling system such as this would be quieter, ideally more efficient, and would allow for more thorough cooling, a move which could extend the life of your device. This technology could be implemented on both mobile and desktop systems, and would be just another of Apple's truly unique systems. The future of device security Two more patents have also been released recently that would make Apple's devices more secure. The first is one we have seen before, at least in part: facial recognition. We have all seen the spy movies where in order to gain access to whatever it may be, the hero has to wear some sort of mask to dupe the computer into opening the door. Well, this is the start of such technologies. Though Apple's implementation is probably less sinister than whatever a villain's purpose would be, for those who do not have Hollywood make-up artists, it offers a pretty secure way to restrict access to a computer. The process is relatively simple: the device would use imaging hardware to detect various features of the face, and match it to a saved profile by evaluating the differences between the two images (rather than doing a direct comparison like most systems). There are potential disadvantages to this, however. The greatest disadvantage is high utilization of hardware resources, particularly the GPU. However, it would be much more secure than traditional facial recognition in that, in an additional bit of information, the system would require a sort of "attentiveness" that would prevent a simple image of a user's face to be sufficient in unlocking the device. The second patent pertaining to security is a little more complex, but simply in theory, not practice. Traditional methods of password recovery involved answering a secret question or using an administrator account, among many others, in order to regain access in the instance of a forgotten password. Because of inconveniences such as these, people tend to pick simple, easy- to-guess passwords, or they simply do not use them. What Apple seeks to do is simplify the process by allowing users to store encrypted password credentials on various associated peripherals such as chargers, wireless routers, or or printers. One implementation would be when someone is at a coffee shop and leaves their iPhone at their table with a book while they grab their coffee. Someone grabs the iPhone off the table while they are not looking, but they have no access to the device because the associated power cord storing the password recovery credentials is back at home. This is a perfect example of Apple's ingenuity and inventiveness. While there are a number of other scenarios in which this could come in handy, the idea of this type of security in password recovery is ideal as the idea of the iWallet becomes more popular. Read more about these patents at Patently Apple: patents-reveal-thunderbolt-is-headed-for-ios-devices.html reinvents-the-ionic-wind-generator-cooling-system.html#more envisions-face-presence-detection-security-for-ios-devices.html invents-an-ingenious-security-system-for-the-iwallet- era.html#more 46 MacDirectory

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