Apple is always inventing new stuff.
Just this past year, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has published thousands of patents that Apple has both applied for and been granted.
In 2015 alone, it was granted 1,938 patents.
Of course, a patent never guarantees a product — often, published patents or applications are merely proof that a company has investigated an idea.
But looking at Apple patents can be a fun way to look at what the company is working on in its Cupertino labs, and also imagine what an Apple-driven future could look like.
Here are some of the most interesting Apple patents from the past year:
A new kind of laptop keyboard in which the keys don't actually move, but rather sense that you press down.
A system that could use how quickly your head is moving to help earbud sound quality. It uses 'bone conduction' to help cut out ambient noise.
Patent number: 9,316,810
Inventors: Romeo Mercado
Filed: May 30, 2014
Apple's rumoured to be ditching the headphone jack on its next iPhone. But Apple employees have also dreamed up this invention that would shrink the jack, saving valuable volume.
A motorised screen protector, which, Inspector Gadget-style, will deploy when the user accidentally drops their phone or mobile device.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.