A patent for “An Enhanced TV Widget Paradigm” suggests Apple will ditch conventional static widgets (present on current smart TVs and smart TV upgraders), in favor of content-aware widgets that provide information or activities that compliment what you’re watching.
Devices With a Hybrid LCD, E-Ink Display
Another patent filing suggests Apple will deliver an iPhone and iPad with a hybrid LCD, e-ink display. The “electronic paper” display would allow for easier reading in bright sunlight, or in situation where a backlit LCD is too harsh.
The patent describes a screen with “multiple composite display regions” featuring individually activated backlights that could be turned on or off to display some content (like text on a web page) in the appropriate scenario. Such a display would require significantly less power than conventional displays, improving battery life.
One way this could be implemented would be to sandwich a transparent e-ink display between a capacitive touchscreen and either an LCD or OLED.
This already exists in numerous devices, but in a different way: these systems use large word libraries that can complicate voice input analysis. Apple’s solution would identify users by the sound of their voice. That person could use voice inputs to navigate their device without worrying about that chatterbox across the room or raising their voice to bark out commands.
By tracking the voice of each user, the system could be dynamically tailored to their interests and unique needs. Multiple users could share the device, but specific content or contacts would remain unique to each individual user.
OSX and iOS Fully Converge
By the end of 2012, we may see iOS and OSX converge into a unified operating system.
“Users want to be able to pick up any iPhone, iPad, or Mac (or turn on their iTV) and have content move seamlessly between them and be optimized for the user and the device currently being used,” said Peter Misek, an analyst with Jefferies & Co.
Devices running iOS and OSX currently use different processors. Once all Apple computing devices — iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks or MacBook Airs — run the same processor, likely ARM, it will be easier for them to support the same operating system. Users could easily share information and files between devices (especially when used in conjunction with iCloud).
We’ve already seen how OSX Lion has adopted features from iOS, like natural scrolling and LaunchPad, which resembles the iPad’s home screen.
In the Workplace
With these innovations and others, we also expect Apple to take the business enterprise industry by storm. This isn’t quite an innovation in itself on Apple’s part, but a result of their products, their applications and the platform.
“Apple is the first and only vendor that really supports the enterprise platform,” says Brian Fino, founder and managing director of Fino Consulting, which provides enterprise solutions for Fortune 1000 companies. “We’ve seen a dramatic and significant shift towards Apple products, the iPad in particular. And with iOS 5’s over-the-air upgrades, users will have untethered management of devices.”
Many consumers like bringing in their iPad (or other Apple devices) to and from work, and have requested enterprise solutions from Fino’s company. Airplay currently allows for wireless streaming from the iPad to an HDTV via Apple TV. As Apple continues to support and expand this capability, businesses will find these products increasingly useful and convenient.