Apple has been granted 36 new patents, covering technology and inventions including the Dashboard, interfacing with sporting equipment, and keyboard illumination.

The US Patent and Trademark Office published the series of Apple's newly granted patents on Tuesday, reports Patently Apple. The series includes a patent entitled 'Interfacing portable media devices and sports equipment', which covers "circuits, methods and apparatus that allow sports or other equipment, such as gym or other cardio equipment, to write data to a media player."

This technology could enable users to connect their iOS device to a treadmill, for example, to record their workout data on a third-party website. That website could also collect data from other users to promote competition among gym-goers and encourage users to progress.

A second patent relates to the Dashboard app on Apple's Mac OS X operating systems that gives users quick access to widgets such as the dictionary, calculator, weather, notes and more. The patent, called 'Desktop widgets for presentation in a layer,' covers the Dashboard interface and the ability to customise the dashboard by adding, deleting, moving or configuring widgets.

Also in the series of newly granted patents is a patent relating to Apple's MacBook keyboard illumination, as well as a design patent covering the Siri icon and a second relating to the iTunes Master Volume Sliders for Multiple Speakers.

Among the list of other patents granted to Apple this week are 'Routine and interface for correcting electronic text', 'Audio status information for a portable electronic device', 'Time synchronization of media playback in multiple processes', 'Quick find for data fields', 'Detecting image detail level', 'Enhanced echo cancellation' and more.

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