Apple Car may have integrated air scenting tech in a compact unit

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
The air conditioning in the rumored Apple Car may offer a few surprises for users, with the unit perhaps capable of scenting air, as well as the possibility of being hidden from view.




Air conditioning systems in vehicles are a relatively known quantity to users, and haven't undergone many changes in design over the years of their inclusion in vehicles. However, Apple believes it can improve upon what's already been done with its own unusual design.

The patent for a "Climate control system with slit-vent fluid delivery," granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, describes a low-profile air conditioning system for vehicles. The design is one where the fins used to control airflow and direction are away from the exit point, with air funneled to go through a narrow but wide slit.

The design is presumably intended to be one that goes across most of the width of the vehicle dashboard, with a relatively narrow visible opening. While the use of fins to cut off air and to alter how it moves isn't a new idea, nor is minimizing the appearance in this way, Apple does make some interesting alterations to the design, namely incorporating smells.

Typical in-car air conditioning and fan systems don't offer controllable smells, though after-market options are available, consisting of perfume-containing bottles that clip to externally-visible fins or the usual hanging air freshener.

The proposed air conditioner vent would be narrow but very wide.
The proposed air conditioner vent would be narrow but very wide.


The main addition is the use of a "fluid flow path" inside the housing, just before it reaches the passenger. In effect, this consists of a small trough underneath the path of air, just after it has passed the fin assembly.

Naturally, the fluid is scented, and being positioned at the very end of the air conditioning system, this means the smell will more immediately exit and fill the cabin.

As part of the design of the fin unit, there is a steep incline between the fluid flow path and the actual outlet, one that is just enough that anyone who looks into the vent won't be able to see the trough itself.

The fluid flow path consists of a delivery module and a fluidic control device, with the latter moveable to adjust the direction of the fluid's flow within the housing. Thermal passages can also be incorporated to heat or cool the liquid, adjusting how effective the smell enters the air by increasing or reducing it.

A trough at the bottom of the vent would contain smell-producing liquid.
A trough at the bottom of the vent would contain smell-producing liquid.


A transverse fluidic control device consisting of airfoil-shaped fins could provide a fine level of directional control, while a vertical fluidic control between the inlet and the transverse control device could offer a coarser level of directional control. Control units may also be able to adjust the fluid flow to a number of different profiles, including sinusoidal, oscillating directional changes.

This control can also be adjusted by other factors being monitored for each profile that the user has selected, such as what scent or fluid is being delivered, the speed, temperature, and humidity.

Though the patent largely discusses smell, it also includes elements where it talks about how to minimize the visible appearance of the vent. As well as taking up a very low profile, the filing suggests it may be hidden in a variety of ways, such as a porous material cover, a shutter device, or a lighting feature.

A "roller-blind-style" cover, flexible fabric with openings, and "ferromagnetic fabric with controllable chains" are also suggested as ways to mask the vent.

The patent lists its inventors as John M. Kearney, Clarisse Mazuir, Arthur Y. Zhang, and Samuel B. Schaevitz. It was originally filed for on May 26, 2017.

Apple files numerous patent applications on a weekly basis, but while the existence of a filing indicates areas of interest for Apple's research and development efforts, they don't guarantee the appearance of the idea in future products or services.

The long-rumored and awaited Apple Car has many patent filings associated with it, and covering a wide number of different areas, including some that rethink conventional features.

Some of these more exotic ideas include a multi-segmented sunroof, a headlight system that could highlight road hazards, TrueTone technology for internal lighting, smart seatbelts for passengers, and force-feedback hinges for the doors.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    That sounds similar to the system in our cars. There’s a little replaceable “cup” that hides inside the glove compartment that is filled with the scented fluid. When we activate a certain setting the heat/A/C system will circulate some of the scent through the cabin. We don’t use it all that often and haven’t had to replace one of the cups yet. Last I checked the little cups were around $100 each.
  • Reply 2 of 20
    looplessloopless Posts: 260member
    If anything makes me very nervous about holding Apple stock , it is this "Apple Car". Hubris in the extreme. Making cars is hard, and far harder and messier that anyone thinks. Tesla might have a sky-high stock price, but they only make money from other manufacturers paying them for carbon-credits. Can you imagine Apple opening a car plant, in say, Mexico to build this thing? Autonomous driving is a dead end - its like AI, still 20 years out.

    My only hope is that they will sell the project to some existing manufacturer.
    tmayBeats
  • Reply 3 of 20
    loopless said:
    If anything makes me very nervous about holding Apple stock , it is this "Apple Car". Hubris in the extreme. Making cars is hard, and far harder and messier that anyone thinks. Tesla might have a sky-high stock price, but they only make money from other manufacturers paying them for carbon-credits. Can you imagine Apple opening a car plant, in say, Mexico to build this thing? Autonomous driving is a dead end - its like AI, still 20 years out.

    My only hope is that they will sell the project to some existing manufacturer.
    I don't think you realize how much AI is already incorporated into business operations today, and it's growing exponentially.  AI is nothing more or less than machines making decisions that used to be entirely made by people.

    Also, I'm pretty sure that is any company is well situated to doing something "harder and messier than anything thinks" it would be one with a hundred billion dollars in the bank and a track record of analyst-defying successes.  If Apple decides to say "yes" to this (given their philosophy of usually saying "no"), I'm optimistic they will have planned for and solved the hard, messy challenges.  "It might work!" isn't Apple's credo.
    Beats
  • Reply 4 of 20
    edac2edac2 Posts: 28member
    AppleCar's "air freshener" will probably be co-branded with Chanel and cost $9.95 a month to use.
    BeatsJaphey
  • Reply 5 of 20
    What is this AppleCar that's being talked about?  Has Apple said it was making a car?  I honestly don't understand why this is being mentioned for a product that doesn't seem to exist.
  • Reply 6 of 20
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,761member
    loopless said:
    If anything makes me very nervous about holding Apple stock , it is this "Apple Car". Hubris in the extreme. Making cars is hard, and far harder and messier that anyone thinks. Tesla might have a sky-high stock price, but they only make money from other manufacturers paying them for carbon-credits. Can you imagine Apple opening a car plant, in say, Mexico to build this thing? Autonomous driving is a dead end - its like AI, still 20 years out.

    My only hope is that they will sell the project to some existing manufacturer.
    I don't think you realize how much AI is already incorporated into business operations today, and it's growing exponentially.  AI is nothing more or less than machines making decisions that used to be entirely made by people.

    Also, I'm pretty sure that is any company is well situated to doing something "harder and messier than anything thinks" it would be one with a hundred billion dollars in the bank and a track record of analyst-defying successes.  If Apple decides to say "yes" to this (given their philosophy of usually saying "no"), I'm optimistic they will have planned for and solved the hard, messy challenges.  "It might work!" isn't Apple's credo.
    I think that too many consider the Apple Car, should there ever be one, as being targeted at the consumer. This seems unlikely. More likely, it is targeted toward autonomus / ride sharing services that require more robust designs for extended service life, and easy maintenance, especially of the interior, against higher initial cost.
  • Reply 7 of 20
    There should be in-seat sensors for auto activation of the air fresheners. Now THAT would be something I'd like to see on airplanes!
  • Reply 8 of 20
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Every Apple patent on the Car is exciting and revolutionary. It's gonna be the complete package like Mac, iPhone, iPod, iPad, Apple Watch were.


    loopless said:
    If anything makes me very nervous about holding Apple stock , it is this "Apple Car". Hubris in the extreme. Making cars is hard, and far harder and messier that anyone thinks. Tesla might have a sky-high stock price, but they only make money from other manufacturers paying them for carbon-credits. Can you imagine Apple opening a car plant, in say, Mexico to build this thing? Autonomous driving is a dead end - its like AI, still 20 years out.

    My only hope is that they will sell the project to some existing manufacturer.

    Why is everything impossible to internet posters? With Apple's engineers and cash they can make it possible.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    loopless said:
    If anything makes me very nervous about holding Apple stock , it is this "Apple Car". Hubris in the extreme. Making cars is hard, and far harder and messier that anyone thinks. Tesla might have a sky-high stock price, but they only make money from other manufacturers paying them for carbon-credits. Can you imagine Apple opening a car plant, in say, Mexico to build this thing? Autonomous driving is a dead end - its like AI, still 20 years out.

    My only hope is that they will sell the project to some existing manufacturer.
    Why would Apple open a car plant to build a car? They’d get someone else to build the car, just like someone else builds … er … everything they sell. 
    Beatstmayfastasleep
  • Reply 10 of 20
    all kinds of news and patents have been floating around for years, I still have no idea when is Apple Car coming out... Or are they just going to integrate their system into big manufacturers???
  • Reply 11 of 20
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,377member
    What is this AppleCar that's being talked about?  Has Apple said it was making a car?  I honestly don't understand why this is being mentioned for a product that doesn't seem to exist.
    Yeah, it is kind of funny that we’ve been talking about these Apple Car features when the thing is still a total vaporware product. With all these cool new features already being bantered about I’m just waiting for the thing to be awarded a Motor Trend Car of the Year award along with a pile of JD Power quality and customer satisfaction awards. Why not? All they need to do is to invent a new category, perhaps, Imaginary Utility Vehicle (IUV). As it stands, Apple’s ImagiCar is definitely the leader in its class so I guess it deserves a prize of some kind. 

    Strike up the band and release the confetti - woo hoo!
  • Reply 12 of 20
    dewme said:
    Yeah, it is kind of funny that we’ve been talking about these Apple Car features when the thing is still a total vaporware product. With all these cool new features already being bantered about I’m just waiting for the thing to be awarded a Motor Trend Car of the Year award along with a pile of JD Power quality and customer satisfaction awards. Why not? All they need to do is to invent a new category, perhaps, Imaginary Utility Vehicle (IUV). As it stands, Apple’s ImagiCar is definitely the leader in its class so I guess it deserves a prize of some kind. 

    Strike up the band and release the confetti - woo hoo!
    It's not vaporware:
    1. software or hardware that has been advertised but is not yet available to buy, either because it is only a concept or because it is still being written or designed.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 13 of 20
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,142member
    What is this AppleCar that's being talked about?  Has Apple said it was making a car?  I honestly don't understand why this is being mentioned for a product that doesn't seem to exist.
    It's been heavily reported on for over five years now. Dunno why you didn't think to maybe click on the first link in this article instead of letting everyone know you're not paying attention:
    https://appleinsider.com/inside/apple-car




  • Reply 14 of 20
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,142member

    all kinds of news and patents have been floating around for years, I still have no idea when is Apple Car coming out... Or are they just going to integrate their system into big manufacturers???
    Nobody knows when it's coming out. And no, they're not going to build a system for other manufacturers, that's been pretty clearly not the goal.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,142member
    loopless said:
    If anything makes me very nervous about holding Apple stock , it is this "Apple Car". Hubris in the extreme. Making cars is hard, and far harder and messier that anyone thinks. Tesla might have a sky-high stock price, but they only make money from other manufacturers paying them for carbon-credits. Can you imagine Apple opening a car plant, in say, Mexico to build this thing? Autonomous driving is a dead end - its like AI, still 20 years out.

    My only hope is that they will sell the project to some existing manufacturer.
    “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”
    Rayz2016
  • Reply 16 of 20
    ted13ted13 Posts: 65member
    loopless said:
    If anything makes me very nervous about holding Apple stock , it is this "Apple Car". Hubris in the extreme. Making cars is hard, and far harder and messier that anyone thinks. Tesla might have a sky-high stock price, but they only make money from other manufacturers paying them for carbon-credits. Can you imagine Apple opening a car plant, in say, Mexico to build this thing? Autonomous driving is a dead end - its like AI, still 20 years out.

    My only hope is that they will sell the project to some existing manufacturer.
    I have serious doubt about an Apple Car, but most attacks on Tesla lately make no sense. By all evidence Tesla is pulling farther and farther away from the competition.  If it was so easy to just make money off carbon-credits, you'd think a bunch of legacy car companies would start producing EVs so that they too could get some of those juicy credits -- especially when most of them are losing money big time.

    As for autonomous driving being a dead end -- look, your guess on when we will or won't get to L5 autonomous driving is as good as mine. But Tesla's autopilot is very real, as are its constant OTA improvements. Most Tesla owners are delighted with what is possible right now...
  • Reply 17 of 20
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,377member
    mknelson said:
    dewme said:
    Yeah, it is kind of funny that we’ve been talking about these Apple Car features when the thing is still a total vaporware product. With all these cool new features already being bantered about I’m just waiting for the thing to be awarded a Motor Trend Car of the Year award along with a pile of JD Power quality and customer satisfaction awards. Why not? All they need to do is to invent a new category, perhaps, Imaginary Utility Vehicle (IUV). As it stands, Apple’s ImagiCar is definitely the leader in its class so I guess it deserves a prize of some kind. 

    Strike up the band and release the confetti - woo hoo!
    It's not vaporware:
    1. software or hardware that has been advertised but is not yet available to buy, either because it is only a concept or because it is still being written or designed.
    Yeah, it’s not vaporware of Apple’s doing, but the constant presentation of the Apple Car as something that actually exists by tech media is humorous. 
    edited August 2020
  • Reply 18 of 20
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    all kinds of news and patents have been floating around for years, I still have no idea when is Apple Car coming out... Or are they just going to integrate their system into big manufacturers???
    No one knows. 

    It sounds like it’s going to be delivered in kit form. 

    The iKeaCar


  • Reply 19 of 20
    I’m looking forward to smell-o-vision replacing television.

    (kids, that’s a Bugs Bunny reference...)
  • Reply 20 of 20
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,500member
    Just give me that Jaguar Connolly Hide scent from their cars 30 years ago.  My new Jaguar's leather smells nothing like my XJS from back then.
Sign In or Register to comment.