Apple Awarded Patent For The “Auto-Dimming” Retina Display

Apple Awarded Patent For The “Auto-Dimming” Retina Display

Published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office earlier today, U.S Patent No. 8,358,273, entitled “Portable Media Device With Power-Managed Display,” describes a system in which Apple may use the technology contained the “Retina” displays found on both its iPhone and iPad products, to ‘automatically adjust’ the light intensity of the smartphone (or tablet)’s backlight in order to conserve energy.

Specifically, the patent covers “improved techniques for controlling power utilization of a display device.” Apple goes on to note that the method uses “improved techniques” to reduce power consumption by “lowering display intensity at appropriate times.”


In one particular embodiment given of the technology, Apple highlights that the device’s display intensity may be controlled “depending on the type of content being displayed.” In a separate embodiment, the Cupertino company goes on to explain that such technology could also be used to control this display intensity “depending on the characteristics of the content being displayed.”

From the filing:

“The display intensity can be controlled depending on the type and characteristics of content being displayed. The improved techniques are well suited for use with portable media devices.”

The method described in the patent is particularly interesting, as it doesn’t necessarily rely on physical ‘sensors’ to determine whether the display’s backlight should be dimmed, but instead actually monitors the content which is being used at the time, and then makes a technological decision whether the display’s backlight is needed or not in the current situation.

The patent was originally filed by Apple with the USPTO on May 23, 2006.

View filing 11/439,613 at the USPTO.

/ AppleInsider