THX, the audio company founded by George Lucas to ensure the audio quality of the Star Wars films, has filed a patent infringement suit against Apple for the speakers used on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Independent since 2001, THX holds a 2008 patent for a sound-boosting speaker. Karen Gullo & Joel Rosenblatt of Bloomberg report:
If you’re like me you absolutely hate -- hate! -- the weak speaker performance of your iPhone, iPad, or Macbook Air, Edifier has made the Sound To Go Plus, a quality built auxiliary audio system that's as portable as your Apple devices.
The iPhone 5 is thinner, lighter, longer, brighter, and faster than ever before. But is it louder? iPhones have always sounded good through headsets, and they can even pump out decent sound through Bluetooth these days. Yet year after year, iPhone after iPhone, little or no attention seems to get paid to the on-board speakers. While others experiment with everything from the solid Dolby to the silly Beats by Dre, the company that created the iPod + iTunes, has traditionally not devoted the Keynote-time to killer audio that they have killer camera optics. This year, however, my hopes were raised. Apple's iPhone 5 event did indeed feature an entire segment on speakers --- but only for the new EarPods. What about the on-board speakers?
The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent submitted by Apple today that indicates the use of a facial recognition camera as well as a new speaker array for use with the iPad. The patent shows off three and four speaker arrays to help give off better audio at increased ranges. Also indicated in this patent is a camera that will include facial and location orientation. This will allow the camera to reorient itself depending on if you are chatting with it in landscape or portrait mode.
Stay with us to find out what else Apple has patents on.