Apple has been rumored as developing other technologies than smartphones and tablets. New patents granted to Apple on Thursday indicate that it could be creating a drone.

Two patents are filed to describe small, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which can be controlled wirelessly via an iPhone or Nintendo DS.

Apple however filed initial patents in Singapore to ‘keep the projects secret’  but have since filed the pair with the US Patent & Trademark Office. 

Images in patents show small drones with four wheels, which is common for UAVs of small size.

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Approximately two patents describe small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that pair with wireless controllers or drones operated via an iPhone or a Nintendo DS. The images in the patents depict a small drone with four rotors, a common designed for small UAVs

There are approximately two patents that describe small unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs), which can pair with wireless controllers, or drones controlled via an iPhone or Nintendo DS. Patents show a four-rotor drone, which is a standard for small UAVs.

Patents for the invention were filed first in May 2020 in Singapore. However, they made their way to America in February and March and were granted to Apple in November 2011. Patently Apple was first to report on them.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and Controller Association is one patent that describes wireless controllers being used to control the Apple UAV.

This document describes the apparatuses, methods and systems that can be used to pair/unpair UAVs with/from UAV Controllers.

According to the application, the controllers will have at most one antenna that can perform cellular communications with the drone.

Th second patent, titled ' Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Tracking and Control. Unlike the other application, this one describes using a smartphone, specifically Apple's iPhone, to control the drone

The second patent is titled “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Tracking and Control”. This application is different from the others because it describes how to use a smartphone, Apple’s iPhone specifically, to control the drone.

A type of memory would be added to the UAVs that could recall past tasks.

“Apparatuses for pairing/unpairing unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs), to/from UAV controllers. (UACs)” An UAV/or UAC can initiate, depending on a triggering situation, a paring/unpairing or unpairing of an UAV to/from host UAC. In addition, they may receive from a network a configuration upgrade that may confirm paring/unpairing.

The triggering conditions may involve at least one UAV being moved from an area designated by the UAC to control it, or the UAV being placed in a place where the UAC can’t control it, and/or signaling abilities of the UAC.

“The configuration upgrade may contain at least one: A cause code, an UAV identifier, an UAC host identifier, or an UAV identifier (UAS).

The U.S. filed the second patent entitled “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Tracking and Control” on February 23, 2021.

This application is different from the others. It describes how to use a smartphone (specifically Apple’s iPhone) to control the drone.

A portable gaming system such as a Nintendo DS, Gameboy Advance or Nintendo Gameboy could be used to power the UAVs.

Patent: ‘User equipment (UE), or ‘UE device any one of many types of computer system devices that are portable and wireless,’ says the patent. 

«Examples of UE device include smart phones and mobile phone (e.g. iPhone.TM. or Android.TM. based phones), gaming consoles (e.g. Nintendo DS.TM. PlayStation Portable.TM.), laptops, wearable devices (e.g. PDAs, laptops, wearable devices (e.g. smart watches, smartglasses), PDAs.

The patent also notes a portable gaming system like a Nintendo DS or Gameboy advance could also power the UAVs

Patent also mentions that a handheld gaming system, such as a Nintendo DS and Gameboy Advance could power UAVs.

Apple was granted the patents but it’s not a guarantee that Apple will develop a drone.

Apple received another patent that was granted in May. It describes technology that could be used to make the iPhone successful. 

But, it could still display 3D images directly on your smartphone, without the need for an AR or VR headset.  

The patent is called “Split screen driving of electronic devices displays” and proposes to replace 3D images with flat screens on an iPhone or iPad.

These documents describe the obstacles that this content can cause when it is displayed on a tablet or smartphone. They could also trigger “motion blur”, luminance offsets or other effects that may be uncomfortable or dizzying for viewers.

Apple recommends adding another section to its display to beam additional pixels, creating alternate rows on the main screen.

Splitting the view of an image is the idea so that each user sees the final 3D graphic on the fat screen.

Apple however, has made its patents real products with its Apple Watch. 

In 2009 Apple filed the first application, depicting Apple’s initial interest in wearables.

An image in the patent application shows multiple sensors that could be attached to the body and monitor heart rate, blood pressure, stress and other things.

The image developed over several years and was eventually covered by numerous patents, until Apple’s first Watch design in 2014. This iconic shape is what we now call the Square Shape.