Apple has been granted 17 patents for technologies by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The patents include details of wireless syncronisation between Mac and iOS device, the technology behind the iPhone camera, the iPod shuffle and the method by with iPods are manufactured, and the Apple logo that lights up on the back of a Mac.

In many cases the patents describe technologies we are already familiar with. But some hint at potential developments in iCloud and audio. (More below…)  

Patently Apple lists the patents and describes the technology behind some of them.

iOS Camera & Wireless Synchronization - Allows Apple to sync content between iOS device over the air


Method of manufacturing a handheld computing device (iPod) - Outlines exactly how an iPod is built (above).

Flash Control for Electronic Rolling Shutter - Relates to a microelectronic image sensor array and imaging optics, and the LED-based camera flash in iOS cameras.

Apparatus and Method for Compensating for Variations in Digital Cameras - Regards calibrating digital camera components to minimize manufacturing variations.

Wireless Synchronization between a Media Player and Host Device - Describes wireless interaction between a host computer and a media player. This sounds like iTunes WiFi synchronization that launched with iOS 5. It could also apply to other iCloud technologies.

Current iPod Shuffle (Fourth Generation) - Credited to Apple vice president of industrial design Jonathan Ive.

Stabilizing directional audio input from a moving microphone array - According to Patently Apple, this relates to the aiming of Audio beamforming. Beamforming microphones can be used in hearing aids to better isolate a sound and its location. Beam-forming technology can also help filter out excess room noise.

Active enclosure for computing device - Covers the illuminated logo on the back of Apple Macs.

Media playback queuing for playback management - Relates to playback of media items and management of playback on a client computer.

More information about the following can be found here

  • Mode switching noise cancellation for microphone-speaker combination
  • Remote content updates for portable media devices
  • Method and apparatus for an improved stack arrangement and operations thereon
  • Single security model in booting a computing device
  • Analyzing integrated circuit operations
  • Computer system power source with improved light-load efficiency
  • Methods and systems for managing data
  • Channel sounding techniques for a wireless communication system