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More Patent filings for Apple drones have been discovered, with an apparent attempt at stealth.

Apple may be working on a drone, according to a patent application filed last month. Two more drone-related patent applications have surfaced today, with the initial filings implying that Apple was attempting to keep the work under wraps.

Patent applications are public information, and there are individuals who make a career of reviewing those submitted by Apple in the hopes of getting a head start on prospective new goods. Apple appears to have sought to obscure its apps in this situation…

The corporation has two options for accomplishing this. For starters, it is sometimes feasible to postpone the publication of a patent application until after it has been filed. Second, submit the application outside of the United States.

Because Apple is an American corporation, most people look for hints at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Patent applications filed in foreign countries have a lower chance of being discovered. Both of these Apple drone patent applications were first submitted in Singapore rather than the United States, according to Patently Apple.

Apple originally filed in Singapore under number 10202004252X back in May 2020 to keep the project secret […] A second Drone patent application was […] also originally filed in Singapore under number 10202002204W.

Both, however, have now been filed in the United States. The first is on how to pair and unpair drones with controllers. It’s written in the typical opaque patentese, but it looks to be detailing a technique of passing control of a drone from one controller to another, maybe while the drone is in flight.

Apparatuses, systems, and methods for pairing/unpairing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to/from UAV controllers (UACs). A UAV and/or a UAC may initiate, based on a triggering condition, a paring/unpairing of the UAV to/from a host UAC and receive, from a network, a configuration update that may confirm the paring/unpairing of the UAV to/from the host UAC. The triggering condition may include at least one of the UAV moving from a location designated as controlled by the host UAC, the UAV moving into a location in which the host UAC is restricted from controlling the host UAV, and/or the host UAC losing signaling capabilities. The configuration update may include at least one of a cause code, an identifier associated with the UAV, an identifier associated with the host UAC, an identifier associated with an unmanned aerial system (UAS).

The second involves utilizing a cellular network to operate a drone from a distance.

Apparatuses, systems, and methods for tracking and/or controlling unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as well as tracking UAV controllers (UACs) within a cellular network. A UAV/UAC may provide a cellular network with tracking 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 may forward this information to an unmanned aerial system (UAS) traffic management system (UTM). The UTM may determine, based in part on the tracking information, whether to transfer control of the UAV from the UAC to the UTM. In some embodiments, the UAV/UAC may trigger the UTM to transfer control of the UAV form the UAC to the UTM.

We must, of course, include our standard disclaimer: Apple patents a lot of things that never see the light of day. For every time it says “yes,” the corporation notoriously says “no” a thousand times.

Regardless, considering that photography and videography are currently significant emphasis areas for iPhones and Macs, this seems like a sensible product category for Apple to at least investigate.

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