Apple has been a driving force in technology innovation and design for decades now. Protecting such a huge empire of intellectual property requires an army of patent attorneys who have filed for a number of pretty strange patents over the years that can be traced back to Cupertino. Here's some of Apple's more bizarre ideas, designs and inventions that surfaced over at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office when their granted patents or applications were officially published this year.
A Planter for the Apple Store - Apple considers the layout of its physical stores to be a proprietary creation right down to the more mundane details, apparently including even the planters.
Yep, that's Apple's plant pot and no one else's, folks. The patent also includes details on how multiple planters should be arranged inside the store, just to make sure it's clear how planters should be used correctly for those who don't know.
Retail bags: Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. Bags of all shapes and sizes and materials aren't hard to find in the world today, but Apple still saw fit to patent what it sees as the definitive Apple Store bag (or at least one of them). No, it's not high tech in any particular fashion, either. It's really just a bag.
Wearable displays: Are iShirts on the way? Apple submitted a patent application after it acquired LuxVue a few years back that covers the company's design for flexible displays that could be added to shirts, pants, gloves, bracelets or just about anything else you can wear. Why might Apple be interested in slapping a display on our clothes? Perhaps it has something to do with our next recent patent application for...
A Network of Wearable Sensors: The Apple Watch and its heart rate monitor could be just the beginning of what the company has planned for our workouts. The comprehensive system includes sensors in headphones, a necklace, armband, anklet and shoes, not to mention on a watch around the wrist. If this one ever comes to pass it could be a new era of totally wired-up workouts.
Anti "butt calling" tech: Finally! The invention we've been waiting for since 1999. This isn't exactly a brand new idea, of course. We've seen similar features on other devices that allow the system to recognize when it's in a user's pocket or purse so it can dim a screen or go into a low-power mode to save battery. Part of this patent application is basically the same idea, to deactivate the possibility of making an outgoing call on accident when a device is stowed.
A Cellular MacBook: This is something that multiple past patents have hinted at, but no such product has emerged yet. Hope that something could still be in the works re-emerged earlier in 2016 when a patent application surfaced that illustrated what's essentially a MacBook with the potential for an integrated antenna.