Fresh patents: Apple tablet to get proximity sensor?

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Apple has scored 13 fresh patents on the eve of the anticipated tablet launch, which Patently Apple dug up overnight.

They include:

Proximity detection: Detecting when an object such as a finger or stylus is in proximity to the computing device, not when it comes in contact. This is different from touch sensing and opens up a lot of interesting user interface possibilities.

Automatic detection of channel bandwidth: This could help with video conferencing. It’s a technique that allows the device to automatically determine the bandwidth of a communication channel and includes dividing the channel’s potential bandwidth into a number of ranges.

An improved color management system: This helps ensure that colors that appear on the screen match what’s printed on paper or what’s captured in a photograph.

They also won patents for a third-generation iPod Nano, a way of rotating the display and orientation of a captured image, a method for switching IC ports to card slots, and a timeline-based method for choosing and manipulating audio tracks.

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