Apple patents two drone solutions: preparing to launch one?

Escaping the “radar” of rumors is not easy. Google knows it well, which this year had to intervene several months after the launch of Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro by providing preview information on the two smartphones before the rumors ended up revealing them prematurely, stealing the show. And all the other companies know it just as well, especially Apple , which makes the news and is naturally among the most “paparazzi”.

The problem is even more important when the rumors manage to obtain information on patents , which typically concern medium or long-term projects and therefore end up anticipating products that do not it is said that they come to completion . So Apple has tried to protect itself, trying to keep as secret as possible the patent of a drone that does not was filed, as is usually the case, with the USPTO but in Singapore , where the patent office it is less manned.


According to information gathered by Patently Apple , Cupertino da May 2020 onwards has entrusted the Asian offices with two patents, number 10202004252 X and 10202002204 W . The Apple therefore managed to keep the two projects secret until, however, in recent days, the same have not been also deposited with the USPTO , and as in the most classic “as we wanted to prove” they were immediately intercepted and published. Unfortunately, however, neither of the two patents is accompanied by images.

The first patent concerns “systems and methods for coupling and decouple drones from / from controllers “. Difficult from the outside to enter into the typical technicalities of patents without even an image, then explain in detail what it is , but broadly seems to describe systems identified by Apple to give up the “rudder” of a drone , potentially even in flight, from one controller to another. The second patent concerns the remote control of a drone via the cellular data network :

A drone (UAV) or its controller (UAC) can provide information such as speed, orientation, altitude, C2 communication quality, C2 communication mode change request, measurement report, RRC status, cell ID, TAC ID, current location of the UAV and destination of the UAV. The network can relay this information to an unmanned aerial system (UAS) traffic management system (UTM). The UTM can determine, partly on the basis of the tracking information, whether to transfer control of the UAV from the UAC to the UTM. In some embodiments, the UAV / UAC may activate the UTM to transfer control of the UAV from the UAC to the UTM.

These are the first concrete information on the possibility that Apple could enter the drone market. It is worth reiterating that not all patents are then transformed into concrete projects : often companies deposit solutions they have been working on for some time just to prevent a competitor from using them. Of course, the fact that Apple has gone to great lengths to keep the patents secret

Opening image by Patently Apple

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