Apple patents reflect proposed laptop designs
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apple patents reflect proposed laptop designs



You knew it was bound to happen. With the MacBook Air doing so well, Apple is planning thinner versions of its MacBook Pro line, as evidenced by a new patent (number 20110258649) at the US Patent & Trademark Office. And another new patent hints at an Apple laptop with a camera and illuminable latch.

The embodiments in the patent describe an apparatus and method for a reduced Z stack slot loading optical disc drive (ODD). In one embodiment a reduced Z stack height slot loading optical disc drive (ODD) is described. This may be a bit of a surprise as I expected the next major rev of the MacBook Pro to forego an optical drive entirely -- with folks who need/want one steered to Apple's external US$79 SuperDrive.

Per the new patent, the reduced Z stack height ODD includes at least a hub/turntable arrangement having a hub portion and a turntable portion, the turntable portion arranged to support an optical disc secured thereto by way of the hub such that when a rotational motive force is applied to the hub/combination, the optical disc rotates about a hub/turntable axis of rotation, and a rotational motor adjacent to the hub/turntable arrangement, the rotational motor being arranged to provide the rotational motive force to the hub/turntable arrangement, the rotational motor being located in such a way that a rotational motor axis of rotation is translated in a direction perpendicular to the hub/turntable axis of rotation and wherein a Z height of the hub/turntable arrangement and a Z height of the rotational motor are not cumulative. Paul Wehrenberg is the inventor.

Here's Apple's background on the invention: "In many cases it is necessary to mount objects onto a turntable. For example, many electronic devices contain an optical disc drive (ODD) for the purpose of reading and writing optical discs. Especially in the design of portable computers and electronic devices, there is a high value placed on reduction of size and weight. In current practice the slot loading ODD contains a coaxial hub/turntable/rotation motor combination that moves substantially along the axis of rotation, the ‘z’ direction, during the process of chucking the optical disc on the hub and turntable.

"Initially the hub/turntable/rotation motor combination must be moved substantially along the z direction so as to not interfere with movement of the optical disc in the plane of insertion, which plane of insertion is perpendicular to the z direction. When the optical disc is inserted, the hub/turntable/rotation motor combination is driven substantially along z in the other direction, so that the chucking hub is forced into the center hole of the optical disc, and thereby the optical disc is secured to the hub/turntable/rotation motor combination.

"Unfortunately, however, this motion in the z direction increases the overall height, also referred to as the Z stack height, of the ODD. This increase in Z stack height can limit any reduction in size or weight of the portable computer. Therefore, what is desired is a reduced Z stack optical disc drive."

Meanwhile, patent number 20110255289 for an illuminable latch is for a computing device that includes a data capture device such as a camera. In one aspect, the data capture device may integrated with the housing of the computing device and further detachable therefrom. In another aspect, the data capture device may swivel and/or translate relative to the housing of the computing device. In another aspect, the computing device may include a positioning device for controlling the movement of the data capture device relative to the housing.

In yet another aspect, the computing device may include a latch that is automatically positioned in a home position when a housing component of the computing device is positioned in first position, and is automatically positioned in a lock position when the housing component of the computing device is positioned in a closed position. Christoph H. Krah is the inventor.

Here's Apple's background of the invention: "Laptop computers generally consist of a lid for housing a display screen such as an LCD and a base for housing various operational components such as a processor, a hard drive, a disk drive, a modem, a battery, etc. The base also typically carries several input devices including a keyboard, a track pad (or track stick), and various buttons. In most cases, the lid is hinged to the base so as to move the lid between a closed position, placing the lid against the base, and an open position, exposing the display screen and the input devices to the user.

"Most portable computers require that the lid be securely attached to the base for transportation. As such, a locking mechanism is generally provided to secure the lid to the base when the lid is in the closed position. The locking mechanism typically includes a hook, which extends from the lid and which is configured for lockably engaging the base when the lid is in the closed position. The locking mechanism may also include a slide knob for slidably releasing the hook from the base so as to place the lid in the open position.

"Various peripheral input output devices may be electrically connected to the laptop computer. The peripheral I/O devices may include memory, disk drives, keyboards, monitors, mice, printers, scanners, speakers and digital cameras. In most cases, the peripheral I/O devices are connected to laptop computer through wired connections using a serial, USB, or Firewire interface. In other cases, the peripheral I/O devices (as for example keyboards and mice) are connected to the laptop through wireless connections such as radio or Bluetooth.

"Digital cameras, in particular, have become increasingly popular input devices. The digital camera records images in digital form and feeds the images to the laptop computer. The images may be downloaded into the laptop computer as they are recorded or they may be stored in the digital camera for downloading at a later time. Once in the computer, the images can be edited, copied, emailed, broadcasted, etc.

"Some examples of digital cameras include webcams, point and click cameras and camcorders. In all of these examples, the digital camera includes a sensor that converts light into electrical charges. The image sensor employed by most digital cameras is a charge coupled device (CCD), although complimentary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) may also be used.

"Digital cameras and more particularly webcams, whose output is primarily available for viewing over the Internet, may also be configured for video conferencing. Video conferencing generally refers to a live connection between two or more participants in separate locations for the purpose of audio and video communication. At its simplest, videoconferencing provides transmission of images and text between two locations. At its most sophisticated, it provides transmission of full motion video images and high quality audio between two or more locations.

"Although current laptop designs work well, in many instances it would be desirable to provide laptops with improved and/or additional functionality while maintaining aesthetics and keeping with the current trend of smaller and more powerful laptops."

-- Dennis Sellers

 
AAPL
$126.44
Apple Inc.
-0.16
GOOG
$523.40
Google Inc.
+1.56
MSFT
$44.40
Microsoft Corporation
-0.04
MacNews Search:
Community Search:
view counter

view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter

Rage of Bahamut is Giving Almost All of...
The App Store isn't what it used to be back in 2012, so it's not unexpected to see some games changing their structures with the times. Now we can add Rage of Bahamut to that list with the recent announcement that the game is severely cutting back on the number of events it holds. | Read more »
Adventures of Pip (Games)
Adventures of Pip 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** ONE WEEK ONLY — 66% OFF! ***“Adventures of Pip is a delightful little platformer full of charm, challenge and impeccable level design.”4/5 – Hardcore Gamer"A retro platformer that sets itself apart with the protagonist’s... | Read more »
Divide By Sheep - Tips, Tricks, and Stre...
Who would have thought splitting up sheep could be so involved? Anyone who’s played Divide by Sheep, that’s who! While we’re not about to give you complete solutions to everything (because that’s just cheating), we will happily give you some primers on how to get started and what to expect. [Read more] | Read more »
NaturalMotion and Zynga Have Started Tea...
An official sequel to 2012's CSR Racing is officially on the way, with Zynga and NaturalMotion releasing a short teaser trailer to get everyone excited. Well, as excited as one can get from a trailer with no gameplay footage, anyway. [Read more] | Read more »
Grab a Friend and Pick up Overkill 3, Be...
Overkill 3 is a pretty enjoyable third-person shooter that was sort of begging for some online multiplayer. Fortunately the begging can stop, because its newest update has added an online co-op mode. [Read more] | Read more »
Scanner Pro's Newest Update Adds Au...
Scanner Pro is one of the most popular document scanning apps on iOS, thanks in no small part to its near-constant updates, I'm sure. Now we're up to update number six, and it adds some pretty handy new features. [Read more] | Read more »
Heroki (Games)
Heroki 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: CLEAR THE SKIES FOR A NEW HERO!The peaceful sky village of Levantia is in danger! The dastardly Dr. N. Forchin and his accomplice, Vapor, have stolen the Emerix - a powerful amulet and all hope may be lost! Created by Picomy. Published... | Read more »
Wars of the Roses (Games)
Wars of the Roses 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
TapMon Battle (Games)
TapMon Battle 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It's time to battle!Tap! Tap! Tap! Try tap a egg to hatch a Tapmon!Do a battle with another tapmons using your hatched tapmons!*How to play*Complete the limited taps before time expires.Be careful! If you tap a newborn tapmon,... | Read more »
Alchemic Dungeons (Games)
Alchemic Dungeons 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ### Release Event! ### 2.99$->0.99$ for limited time!### Roguelike Role Playing Game! ###Alchemic Dungeons is roguelike rpg game with crafting systems!You can make Items from materials!To conquer dungeons, use items... | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.