Patents by Inventor John Stephen Smith

John Stephen Smith has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 11449175
    Abstract: In some examples, an input device includes a non-linear component, such as a diode. In response to a drive signal, such as a sinusoidal wave, the non-linear passive input device can produce a non-linear output that includes frequency content at the second and other higher harmonics of the fundamental frequency of the drive signal, for example. In some examples, drive electrodes can be driven with a drive signal having one of two fundamental frequencies such that the frequency of the drive signals are applied in an alternating pattern. The electronic device can sense the signal of the stylus to determine the coarse location of the stylus along the sense electrodes and, based on the frequency content of the received signal, a fine location along the axis of the drive electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2020
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2022
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Srinath Hosur, Aryan Hazeghi, John Stephen Smith
  • Publication number: 20220095443
    Abstract: An electrostatic discharge (ESD) robust design for an input device such as a stylus is disclosed. The input device can include one or more components, such as one or more Schottky diodes, that can be damaged by ESD events. To reduce the likelihood of damage to sensitive components, the parasitic capacitance between sensitive conductive paths and reference ground paths of the input device that could otherwise provide electrostatic discharge paths can be reduced (arranging current limiting resistance at specific locations among sensitive components, creating physical separation between sensitive conductive paths and reference ground paths), shielding can be added to shield the sensitive electronics from ESD pulses, and high dielectric breakdown material can be added to prevent ESD pulse entry or exit of not otherwise protected circuit parts.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 24, 2020
    Publication date: March 24, 2022
    Inventors: Daniel Jacob Benjamin BECHSTEIN, MohammadAli KHORRAMI, Vipin AYANOOR-VITIKKATE, Blake R. MARSHALL, Zhibin WANG, Ying CAO, Robert Ubo LIU, John Stephen SMITH
  • Publication number: 20220091685
    Abstract: In some examples, a stylus can include a conductive shield. In some examples, the conductive shield can include a plurality of traces along an edge of a printed circuit board (PCB) including the stylus circuitry. In some examples, the conductive shield can include a shield can coupled to the PCB and disposed around the components of the stylus circuitry. In some examples, the conductive shield can include a hollow portion into which the stylus circuitry can be disposed and a solid portion that can act as a reference electrode. In some examples, the conductive shield can include a hollow sleeve disposed around the stylus circuitry. In some examples, the conductive sleeve can be attached to the PCB. In some examples, the conductive sleeve can be disposed between layers of a housing of the stylus. In some examples, the conductive sleeve can be integrated with the stylus housing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 24, 2020
    Publication date: March 24, 2022
    Inventors: Daniel Jacob Benjamin BECHSTEIN, John Stephen SMITH, Siddharth SHEKAR, Teera SONGATIKAMAS, Elvis Mwenda KIBITI, Jared A. BRAUNER, Lindsay Diane Rego CORBET, Wang Chung Alston CHEUNG, Vipin AYANOOR-VITIKKATE, Nitin SITARAMAN, Joyan Gratian SANCTIS, Blake R. MARSHALL
  • Publication number: 20210373711
    Abstract: Touch sensor panels (or touch screens) can improve signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) using touch electrode patterns for differential drive and/or differential sense techniques. In some examples, a touch sensor panel can include a two-dimensional array of touch nodes formed from a plurality of touch electrodes. Each column (or row) of touch nodes can be driven with a plurality of drive signals. For example, a first column (or row) of touch nodes can be driven by a first drive signal applied to one or more first touch nodes in the first column (or row) and a second drive signal applied to a one or more second touch nodes of the first column (or row). In some examples, the first drive signal and the second drive signal can be complimentary drive signals. In some examples, each row (or column) of touch electrodes can be sensed by differential sense circuitry.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 20, 2021
    Publication date: December 2, 2021
    Inventors: John Stephen SMITH, Amit NAYYAR, Joseph Kurth REYNOLDS, Sagar Rajiv VAZE, Marduke YOUSEFPOR
  • Patent number: 11153676
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are electronic devices having a deformable surfaces through which a user can provide inputs to the device by applying a force such as a pinch or a squeeze. A particular embodiment is an earpiece with the deformable surface part of an elongate section extending from an earbud. The deformable surface includes an incompressible hyperelastic material and a pressure sensor. The pressure sensor includes a pressure sensing element and a void defined between the pressure sensing element and the incompressible hyperelastic material. An applied force is transferred by the incompressible hyperelastic material to compress the void and change an internal pressure thereof. The changed pressure is detected by the pressure sensor, and can result in changed operation of the electronic device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2021
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: John Stephen Smith, Storrs T. Hoen
  • Publication number: 20210303152
    Abstract: In some examples, an input device includes a non-linear component, such as a diode. In response to a drive signal, such as a sinusoidal wave, the non-linear passive input device can produce a non-linear output that includes frequency content at the second and other higher harmonics of the fundamental frequency of the drive signal, for example. In some examples, drive electrodes can be driven with a drive signal having one of two fundamental frequencies such that the frequency of the drive signals are applied in an alternating pattern. The electronic device can sense the signal of the stylus to determine the coarse location of the stylus along the sense electrodes and, based on the frequency content of the received signal, a fine location along the axis of the drive electrodes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 31, 2020
    Publication date: September 30, 2021
    Inventors: Srinath HOSUR, Aryan HAZEGHI, John Stephen SMITH
  • Publication number: 20210294430
    Abstract: An input device includes a keycap, a first electrode disposed to move in response to movement of the keycap, a planar array of electrodes extending at least partially under the keycap, and a sensor. The planar array of electrodes includes a second electrode, a third electrode, and a fourth electrode extending between the second electrode and the third electrode. The sensor is coupled to at least one of the second electrode or the third electrode and configured to generate a signal indicative of a change in capacitive coupling between the second electrode and the third electrode. The change in the capacitive coupling may result from movement of the first electrode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2021
    Publication date: September 23, 2021
    Inventors: John Stephen Smith, David S. Graff, Nicolas M. Golzio, Shahrzad Pouryayevali, Wayne C. Westerman, Christophe Blondin
  • Publication number: 20200280792
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are electronic devices having a deformable surfaces through which a user can provide inputs to the device by applying a force such as a pinch or a squeeze. A particular embodiment is an earpiece with the deformable surface part of an elongate section extending from an earbud. The deformable surface includes an incompressible hyperelastic material and a pressure sensor. The pressure sensor includes a pressure sensing element and a void defined between the pressure sensing element and the incompressible hyperelastic material. An applied force is transferred by the incompressible hyperelastic material to compress the void and change an internal pressure thereof. The changed pressure is detected by the pressure sensor, and can result in changed operation of the electronic device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 15, 2020
    Publication date: September 3, 2020
    Inventors: John Stephen Smith, Storrs T. Hoen
  • Patent number: 10739899
    Abstract: A device configured to sense a touch on a surface of the device. The device includes a cover and a force-sensing structure disposed below the cover. The force-sensing structure may be positioned below a display and used in combination with other force-sensing elements to estimate the force of a touch on the cover of a device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Sinan Filiz, Martin P. Grunthaner, John Stephen Smith, Charley T. Ogata, Christian M. Sauer, Shin John Choi, Christopher J. Butler, Steven J. Martisauskas
  • Patent number: 10659866
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are electronic devices having a deformable surfaces through which a user can provide inputs to the device by applying a force such as a pinch or a squeeze. A particular embodiment is an earpiece with the deformable surface part of an elongate section extending from an earbud. The deformable surface includes an incompressible hyperelastic material and a pressure sensor. The pressure sensor includes a pressure sensing element and a void defined between the pressure sensing element and the incompressible hyperelastic material. An applied force is transferred by the incompressible hyperelastic material to compress the void and change an internal pressure thereof. The changed pressure is detected by the pressure sensor, and can result in changed operation of the electronic device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2020
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: John Stephen Smith, Storrs T. Hoen
  • Publication number: 20200092629
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are electronic devices having a deformable surfaces through which a user can provide inputs to the device by applying a force such as a pinch or a squeeze. A particular embodiment is an earpiece with the deformable surface part of an elongate section extending from an earbud. The deformable surface includes an incompressible hyperelastic material and a pressure sensor. The pressure sensor includes a pressure sensing element and a void defined between the pressure sensing element and the incompressible hyperelastic material. An applied force is transferred by the incompressible hyperelastic material to compress the void and change an internal pressure thereof. The changed pressure is detected by the pressure sensor, and can result in changed operation of the electronic device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 14, 2018
    Publication date: March 19, 2020
    Inventors: John Stephen Smith, Storrs T. Hoen
  • Patent number: 10591368
    Abstract: A transparent force sensor for detecting an applied force on a surface of a device. The transparent force sensor includes a transparent force-sensitive film having an array of strain-relief features oriented along a first direction. The transparent force-sensitive film is formed from a transparent piezoelectric material that exhibits a substantially reduced net charge when strained along a primary direction. The force sensor also includes a display element disposed on one side of the transparent force-sensitive film.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2020
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: James E. Pedder, John Stephen Smith
  • Patent number: 10496211
    Abstract: A mobile communication device includes a housing defining an interior volume and a port connecting the interior volume to an environment exterior to the device. The mobile communication device also includes a display viewable through a surface of the housing, a pressure sensor configured to measure an air pressure within the interior volume, an air flow sensor configured to measure an air flow through the port, and a processor. The processor is configured to determine an amount of force applied to the housing using a measurement of the air pressure by the pressure sensor and a measurement of the air flow by the air flow sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventor: John Stephen Smith
  • Publication number: 20190361560
    Abstract: A device configured to sense a touch on a surface of the device. The device includes a cover and a force-sensing structure disposed below the cover. The force-sensing structure may be positioned below a display and used in combination with other force-sensing elements to estimate the force of a touch on the cover of a device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 12, 2019
    Publication date: November 28, 2019
    Inventors: Sinan Filiz, Martin P. Grunthaner, John Stephen Smith, Charley T. Ogata, Christian M. Sauer, Shin John Choi, Christopher J. Butler, Steven J. Martisauskas
  • Patent number: 10466829
    Abstract: An optical force sensor that may compensate for environmental effects, including, for example, variations in temperature of the device or the surroundings. In some examples, two force-sensitive layers are separated by a compliant layer. The relative electrical response of the two force-sensitive layers may be used to compute an estimate of the force of a touch that reduces the effect of variations in temperature. In some examples, piezoelectric films having anisotropic strain properties are used to reduce the effects of temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2019
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Sinan Filiz, James E. Pedder, Charley T. Ogata, John Stephen Smith, Dhaval Chandrakant Patel, Shin John Choi, Brian Q. Huppi, Christopher J. Butler, Martin P. Grunthaner
  • Patent number: 10423265
    Abstract: An optical force sensor, which may be used as input to an electronic device. The optical force sensor may be configured to compensate for variations in temperature using two or more force-sensitive components that are formed from materials having different temperature- and strain-dependent responses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2019
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Sinan Filiz, James E. Pedder, Charley T. Ogata, John Stephen Smith, Dhaval Chandrakant Patel, Shin John Choi, Brian Q. Huppi, Christopher J. Butler, Martin P. Grunthaner
  • Patent number: 10379657
    Abstract: A device configured to sense a touch on a surface of the device. The device includes a cover and a force-sensing structure disposed below the cover. The force-sensing structure may be positioned below a display and used in combination with other force-sensing elements to estimate the force of a touch on the cover of a device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2019
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Sinan Filiz, Martin P. Grunthaner, John Stephen Smith, Charley T. Ogata, Christian M. Sauer, Shin John Choi, Christopher J. Butler, Steven J. Martisauskas
  • Patent number: 10353506
    Abstract: Structures and methods are disclosed for an electronic device having an input surface that uses dual sensors to measure forces applied to the input surface. The forces can be estimated over a greater range of values than would be possible with either sensor alone. A second sensor can be used after a first sensor has reached a limit. A first sensor can be a strain sensor and a second sensor a pressure sensor. Both sensors may be resistance based, with signals from both sensors can be combined and measured by processing circuitry. Each sensor type may be part of planar arrays disposed beneath the input surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Vosgueritchian, Sinan Filiz, James E. Pedder, John Stephen Smith, Saahil Mehra, Xiaofan Niu
  • Patent number: 10318089
    Abstract: Several techniques for driving a force sensor to reduce common mode offset are disclosed. The force sensor can include at least one set of individual strain sensitive structures formed on or in a surface of a substrate. Each set of individual strain sensitive structures can include one or more strain sensitive structures. At least one external resistor is operably connected in series between a first output of one or more transmitter channels and at least one set of strain sensitive structures. The external resistor(s) effectively increases the resistances of the strain sensitive structures to reduce the common mode offset. Additionally or alternatively, one or more signal generators may be connected to one or more transmitter channels. Each signal generator is configured to produce one or more signals that is/are designed to reduce common mode offset.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: John Stephen Smith, Manu Agarwal, Christian M. Sauer
  • Patent number: 10309846
    Abstract: A strain-responsive sensor incorporating a strain-sensitive element is disclosed. The strain-sensitive element includes a matched-pair of resistive structures disposed on opposite sides of a substrate. One resistive structure is coupled to a crossover, either a physical crossover or a soft crossover, such that current within the resistive structures of the matched pair flows in the same direction. In addition, one resistive structure of the matched pair has a different loop area than the other resistive structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventor: John Stephen Smith