Apple files for patent for drone technology (networking)


The diversity and depth of Apple products sometimes suggests that there is no limit to the type of technology the company can produce, or the new activities in which it might decide to get involved. Today, a new patent filing raises the question of whether Apple is considering a launch in the drone business – although it is a defined and contained part of it.

A filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office released today lists Apple Inc. as a copyright applicant for a document titled “Systems and Methods of Using Unmanned Air Systems in Networks cellular ”. The petition is a serious but deeply technical description that spans a long page scroll. As such, it’s the kind of reading that only wireless communications engineers might like (much less understand). But Cliff’s notes for Geek-o-Speak Dummies detail a network connecting drones, controllers, and mobile communication systems.

The summary of the deposit – which was made on August 9 – is meant to be a tad more accessible than the body of the document:

Systems and methods provide services for an unmanned aerial system (UAS) in a 3GPP network, enabling communication for command and control in 5G systems, and enabling UAS service for identification and operation in a 3GPP network. 3GPP system.

Concept drawings accompanying the petition illustrate the procedures for “UAS operation service request in accordance with one embodiment”, “notification of UAS operation status in 5GS in accordance with one embodiment”, “Notification of the operating state of UAS in EPS according to an embodiment”, and so on. Hope that made it clearer.

Thursday’s patent release follows a patent granted in March involving technology to keep drones connected to mobile communication systems as they pass between different cells. Or as the file says:

Techniques are described for improving transfer performance in the context of UEs incorporated in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, aka drones). A database is constructed that links locations in three-dimensional flight space to handover information which may include optimal scan directions, optimal handover parameters, and / or optimal target cells to be monitored for possible handover.

Easy and easy lemon juice.

So, is all this activity a hint that Apple may soon be getting involved in the drone business? It would seem – at least in terms of communication network. The obvious, if not stated, applications of the two patents outlined above involve connecting to in-flight drones – a frontier Apple has never gone to before (at least not via rotors). So it seems reasonable to assume that all of the basic tech work going on will result in its actual use sooner or later.

However, it would take a massive speculative leap to suggest that if Apple did indeed engage in drone networking, a logical next step would ultimately be the development of the crafts themselves. After all, the company seems happy with its current sale of DJI drones on its sites, with iPhones or iPads being the logical link to the controllers being dealt with.

Specialized media, meanwhile, note that granting the March patent could have been an integral part of Apple’s acquisition of Intel’s 5G modem in July 2019, and is therefore not indicative of the giant’s own plans. of Cupertino. So Apple may be considering the possibility of expanding its technological expertise into an applicable area of ​​an industrial activity that it otherwise has nothing to do with and does not think about entering.

Still, UAV patent filings offer too good an excuse to resist the temptation to indulgently fantasize about how cool something called an Apple drone could be.

Photo: Trac Vu

Subscribe to DroneDJ on YouTube for exclusive videos

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.