Alleged Apple trademark filings reveal 'Iris Engine,' 'AirPod Case,' 'Home Hub,' 'Control Strip,' '

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited September 2016
A wide array of international trademark filings allegedly connected to Apple could reveal the branding for new products and services, with possible ties to rumored features in the "iPhone 7," "AirPods" wireless headphones, and redesigned MacBook Pro.




Trademark attorney Brian Conroy contacted AppleInsider on Tuesday with a list of trademarks that Apple is said to have filed internationally for what could be upcoming products. Amongst the trademarks are known Apple product names, like Siri, Breathe, the True Tone Display as found in the iPad Pro series, macOS Sierra with several associated spellings, and the phrase "designed by Apple in California" as seen on nearly every Apple product.

However, also listed in Apple trademark document are other phrases not immediately identifiable. Listed by Conroy as particularly notable are a mysterious "Iris Engine" and variants, plus registrations for a "Smart Button," "Touch Bar," "Progress Card", and "Swift Lab."

Also notable are "AirPod Case," "Control Strip," "Home Hub," and "iBooks Storytime."

Patents are also labeled with a "six months seniority expires" date. Should Apple not utilize a patent before the seniority expires, then the trademark is released.




"Apple's process for keeping their upcoming stuff secret is to apply for trademarks in secret far flung places," Conroy told AppleInsider. "About four days (usually) before the six months period runs out they apply globally."

Conroy is a patent solicitor (attorney) in Ireland associated with Rennick Solicitors. He was responsible for first publishing information on the "Death Trooper" trademark for the character soon to be seen in "Star Wars - Rogue One," as well as the first reveal of the "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" trademark.

A ticking clock

The process described by Conroy is reminiscent of the Apple shell company Entertainment in Flight, said to be an Apple shell company for the "AirPods" trademark.

Trademark applications for "Trade Up," "Swift Lab," "Progress Card," "Insight Dashboard," "Care Card," and "Remote Loop" expire in September.

Several macOS Sierra applications expire in October. Additionally, "Touch Bar," and variants of "Smart Button" also expire in October.

Possible uses

"Iris Engine" could apply to the rumored Apple iris scanning technology. Intel integrated graphics on some CPUs are also referred to as Iris or Iris Pro graphics. Another possible interpretation is new capabilities related to the advanced camera systems expected for Apple's "iPhone 7" series.

"Smart Button" could be related to Apple's rumored implementation of a 3D Touch home button, with embedded Touch ID sensor.

A "Home Hub" could also refer to new HomeKit-specific hardware. Earlier this year it was said that Apple is working on a standalone speaker to compete with Amazon Echo, though it was said such hardware may not arrive until 2017.

"AirPods" are the expected branding for Apple's wireless earbuds. It's possible the "AirPods" could require a case accessory for charging, much like existing headphones from companies like Bragi.

The MacBook Pro OLED touch-sensitive function bar reports could be referred to as a "Touch Bar" or the "Control Strip" as seen in the trademark documentation.

With new Macs not expected to be announced this week, it's possible that some of the alleged Apple trademark filings may not become official at the company's Wednesday event. It's believed that this week's presentation will focus on the "iPhone 7" series, second-generation Apple Watch with GPS, and corresponding accessories like headphones and watch bands.

Wednesday's keynote will begin at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, Calif. AppleInsider will have full, live coverage and analysis.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    Iris Engine could be either for the camera or an iris scanner. From the associated Iris Image Engine trademark, my guess is it's related to the dual cameras. 
    TurboPGT
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Hmmm... "Iris" is "Siri" spelled backwards... surely couldn't be the new voice recog... nah!
  • Reply 3 of 19
    Iris Engine could be either for the camera or an iris scanner. From the associated Iris Image Engine trademark, my guess is it's related to the dual cameras. 
    Your guess is correct.

    Apple may be looking in to Iris Scanning, on the off chance there is something of value there, but they know as well as everyone knows that it is inefficient, clunky, somewhat dangerous, and wholly unnecessary for their current product lineup.
    1983nolamacguylolliver
  • Reply 4 of 19
    Iris Diaphragms
  • Reply 5 of 19
    sog35 said:
    remember 2 years ago I said Apple would release a home hub or Apple hub?
    No, and frankly nobody cares. 
    1983joe28753singularityfastasleepnolamacguyRauthaTurboPGTtallest skilSpamSandwichlolliver
  • Reply 6 of 19
    Hopefully "Home Hub" refers to an Apple TV Homekit app. I still enjoy having the Apple TV on just for the slow mo videos in the background. It would be really great to be able to have an overlay that shows things like time, inside/outside temp, messages/notifications, video doorbell notifications/interactions, other elements from Homekit, etc.
    1983
  • Reply 7 of 19
    sog35 said:
    sog35 said:
    remember 2 years ago I said Apple would release a home hub or Apple hub?
    No, and frankly nobody cares. 
    did I ask for your opinion? nope. 
    Posting on a public forum implies opinions are inevitable if not welcome. That typed, I do not remember the prophecy. If you can post link, I'd be interested in reading your theory and comparing to future events. Thanks!
  • Reply 8 of 19
    Iris Engine could be either for the camera or an iris scanner. From the associated Iris Image Engine trademark, my guess is it's related to the dual cameras. 
    I think Iris Engine is computer vision related when looking at real life objects while Iris Image Engine is computer vision for dealing with 2D still images.

    If this is true, then it will have a lot of applications from augmented reality for iOS devices to automotive vision for automobiles and airplanes etc...

    Time will tell.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    Iris Engine is far more likely to be related to GPU features than retina/iris biometric ID. Apple doesn't have any need for iris scanning in the short term. Touch ID on iOS actually works. 

    CareCard and Progress Card are both related to new apps that take advantage of CareKit to help hospitals provide patients with follow up care. 
    patchythepiratelolliver
  • Reply 10 of 19
    Took ‘em long enough to get it shipped!


    TurboPGT
  • Reply 11 of 19
    Home Hub? Pointless.

    My wife will still ask me to turn the damn lights on instead of using Hey Siri.
    king editor the gratelolliver
  • Reply 12 of 19
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,603member
    YES!! Its back!!  Woohooo!

    king editor the gratefastasleepiqatedo
  • Reply 13 of 19
    "Iris Engine" sounds intriguing. I'd bet that's what they call the secondary camera on the 7 Plus, which may enable the DSLR-like boke effects.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,630member
    sog35 said:
    remember 2 years ago I said Apple would release a home hub or Apple hub?
    Was that before or after you said you'd leave the forum and never come back? 
    fastasleepthewhitefalconsingularity
  • Reply 15 of 19
    Hmmm... "Iris" is "Siri" spelled backwards... surely couldn't be the new voice recog... nah!
    If Siri is voice recognition, Iris is visual recognition. It is not hard to imagine.

    Visual recognition is used widely in AR/VR, and with Apple's future going to that direction, I won't be surprise to see this new tech in new iPhone, if not in next year release.

    Mark that I say it first here.
    edited September 2016 fastasleep
  • Reply 16 of 19
    ksecksec Posts: 1,564member
    My guess Iris Engine is Apple's custom GPU in the making.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 17 of 19
    How can anyone obtain such descriptive trademarks as "Smart Button" for a smart buttons, "Control Strip" for a control strips, and "Home Hub" for home hubs? Let's see what happens if I file trademark "Smartphone" for smartphones and "Organic" for organic food...
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 18 of 19
    dinoone said:
    How can anyone obtain such descriptive trademarks as "Smart Button" for a smart buttons, "Control Strip" for a control strips, and "Home Hub" for home hubs? Let's see what happens if I file trademark "Smartphone" for smartphones and "Organic" for organic food...
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BT_Home_Hub

    https://www.smartbutton.com/

    Flic: The Wireless Smart Button
    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/flic-the-wireless-smart-button-app#/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRIS_engine    - this one is different segment, but still can pose a problem

    Apple have used the term Control Strip for about 20 years, so might have a good chance here. Not so much a common useage term.
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