Technology companies are finding more and more opportunities to disrupt housing. Amazon, leading the charge as usual, has just received patents on several new technologies that have the potential to transform home owners interaction with their homes.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 36 granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we focus on Apple granted patent for a next-gen smart home feature. The invention is focused on a flexible room control unit that will reside in a home ceiling. The device uses a TrueDepth type of camera that could scan a human hand approaching a segment of a wall in the home to control lighting and other features in the room (air conditioning, music etc). Once the hand is close enough to the wall, the ceiling projector beams a visual of lighting of room controls for the user to manipulate. Once done, the room controls that were projected on the wall disappear. We wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.

Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to human-machine interfaces, and particularly to user controls in a room or building.

Apple's invention is out to advance the old home system with a new control apparatus, including an optical subsystem, a depth map scanner and a projection system.

When a user walks into their family room, for example, the wall would be void of switches. When setting up the 'room control unit' as illustrated below, the projector will be set to project room controls to a portion of a set wall. When the user touches the vicinity of the wall it acts as a virtual control pad and sets off the projector. The projector will then beam virtual controls onto the wall to control devices in the room from lights, to air conditioning and entertainment systems. Of course it will be different for every room the user has this system set up in.

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