Latest Apple patents hint at 3D iPhone effects, flexible batteries, and more

It’s that time of week again! Last week we looked at patents related to an upgraded Apple Pencil, but now Apple has been awarded a fresh set of patents that may give us a few hints into what the company is working on — including patents related to flexible batteries, finding your way around a building, and creating a 3D effect on a 2D display.

Here is everything you need to know about Apple’s latest set of patents.

Flexible batteries

The first patent could help make give your iPhone a much longer battery life. The concept is that flexible batteries can not only be shaped to better fit into a phone, but they can also move depending on the movement of components inside of an iPhone. The flexible batteries are made up of battery cells placed along a flexible substrate, allowing the battery as a whole to bend as it needs.

It will be interesting to see how tech like this can be implemented. For starters, it could be used in standard iPhones to make the most out of the space available for extra battery life. But it could also be used in actual flexible devices, which might change shape depending on their use. Could we see this kind of technology in Apple’s rumored flexible iPhone? It’s certainly possible.

Helping you find doors

Have you ever arrived at your destination only to find that what seems to be the front door is locked — and you have no idea if there is another door around the building? That is what this patent aims to fix. While services like Google Maps and Apple Maps are largely limited to streets and roads right now, they are actively working on ways to bring mapping to the indoors — and Apple’s latest patent shows that includes being able to entry and exit points of a business.

The patent notes that positioning information could be gleaned from a number of different methods — including through GPS, the accelerometer, pedometer, and so on.

Creating a 3D effect on a display

While Apple is rumored to be working on devices like virtual and augmented reality headsets, it looks like the company also wants to make 3D effects a little more accessible to those that simply have an iPhone. To create the 3D effect, the phone would track the positioning of the user’s head — which can be done with the tech in the iPhone X used for Face ID. Using this positioning, the phone can change what the display is showing to make an object appear three-dimensional.

Creating a 3D effect could really help bring ARKit to the next level. ARKit is Apple’s first attempt at augmented reality, and it allows for developers to create AR apps for the iPhone.

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