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MacRumors
Apr 28, 2006, 08:59 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

One of the most recent Apple patents to come to light is one for a Virtual Keyboard (http://news.com.com/Virtual+keyboard+tops+Apple+patent+requests/2100-1041_3-6066425.html?tag=nefd.top) in the shape of an Arc (Picture (http://guides.macrumors.com/Image:applearckeyboard.png)) which bears a resemblance to Microsoft's UMPC keyboard implementation (Picture (http://guides.macrumors.com/Image:umpckeyboard.jpg)).

The recent patent application offers more refinement to the earlier touch screen interface filings (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/03/20060310015335.shtml) (Gallery (http://guides.macrumors.com/Gallery_of_Touch_Interface_Operation_Patent)).

The virtual keyboard is described as learning over time based on which keys are pressed more often and adjusting the sensitivity of those keys. "That likelihood is determined by the person's distance of touch from the closest key, as well as frequency of use."

Another patent that has received much attention recent is Apple's Integrated Sensing Display which was previously posted and discussed (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/01/20060113041940.shtml) in January 2006.

~Shard~
Apr 28, 2006, 09:04 PM
Wow, very cool - I wonder what applications this could be used for... It's kind of along the lines of the whole touch screen interface, but not necessarily.

Mind you, this could just be one of the patents Apple makes which we never see come to fruition as well... I'm still waiting for my color-changing iMac... ;)

mjstew33
Apr 28, 2006, 09:06 PM
Yeah - I agree. Idunno how this would really be useful. I wonder what Apple has up there sleeves.

nagromme
Apr 28, 2006, 09:08 PM
As I posted last week about the thumb-arc keyboard, I don't think Apple stole MS's idea, nor vice versa. I just think great minds think alike sometimes.

It IS a clever idea for holding a tablet AND using it at the same time. It's the only thing that impressed me about the Origami stuff. I'm glad to see Apple is on board with it :)

The integrated sensing display sounds like yet another patent that Apple has no intention of turning into a real product. I'm skeptical about any real-world implementation of it working at all well--and more importantly, it would be hugely expensive (especially in low initial volumes) compared to a regular LCD+iSight. It doesn't sound like it offers enough to justify paying a lot more.

m-dogg
Apr 28, 2006, 09:09 PM
Yeah - I'm not really sure what to make of this. The attached example diagram looks like something someone drew up on a napkin...

jzeiders
Apr 28, 2006, 09:09 PM
I can't help but think this is leading to a truly new iPod design, whether it be someting like Microsoft's Origami, or just a souped-up video iPod device. Then again, Apple could always just release a damn tablet ;)

~Shard~
Apr 28, 2006, 09:11 PM
Perhaps its a new style of keyboard for the completely redesigned Intel iBooks! :eek:

:p ;)

carve
Apr 28, 2006, 09:19 PM
The more apple stuff the cooler:)

bdkennedy1
Apr 28, 2006, 09:32 PM
The touch screen remote for the Apple Media Center

Airforce
Apr 28, 2006, 09:39 PM
Now whose copying who :p

AidenShaw
Apr 28, 2006, 09:49 PM
Where's the emoticon for "yawn"?

rockthecasbah
Apr 28, 2006, 09:59 PM
looks kinda queer from the patent, but i have to admit, seems pretty well done on the MS picture ;)

Tablet + Newton combo? Revive and reinvent a classic with new Intel processors that use 1 watt (as mentioned in a previous rumor :D)

amateurmacfreak
Apr 28, 2006, 10:02 PM
This could be cool...
Apple better come out with a slew of groundbreaking products sometime in the near future. :p
They need to do something amazing for the PC market. iPod... sadly iPod may start to not be as such of a big deal.... I think we've seen that already.

ppnkg
Apr 28, 2006, 10:02 PM
Right....Now, where are those new iBooks?

~Shard~
Apr 28, 2006, 10:16 PM
Where's the emoticon for "yawn"?

Will this do?

Shamus
Apr 28, 2006, 10:24 PM
Looks kinda weird to use. Would you use one hand or two? If you were using one hand, it would be difficult to type. If you were using two, then you would have to find a table or something to place it on. Doesnt seem like the perfect solution to me.

Airforce
Apr 28, 2006, 10:31 PM
Looks kinda weird to use. Would you use one hand or two? If you were using one hand, it would be difficult to type. If you were using two, then you would have to find a table or something to place it on. Doesnt seem like the perfect solution to me.

You use your thumb(s).

joepunk
Apr 28, 2006, 10:38 PM
Looks interesting but I'll believe it when I see it in the real.

mox358
Apr 28, 2006, 10:46 PM
This is hopefully the way more new devices will operate. It seems very natural for typing on the go, and fairly simple to learn. I have to agree with nagromme that this wasn't a situation of "copying" - it seems like it just happened at two places around the same time.

I have to say I like the idea. It would be super-cool if they DID bring back the Newton, with all this cool new tech they've been patenting. They have the tech right now it seems to compete with Tablet PC and Origami... but no products. I wonder what's stopping them?

tonyl
Apr 28, 2006, 10:51 PM
It's just a software, right?

Abstract
Apr 28, 2006, 10:55 PM
If you're only supposed to use one hand to type using Apple's design, then it this isn't as good as the Microsoft implementation of this similar idea. And yes, it seems that Microsoft came up with this first.

One more "negative" vote for this story.

Kingsly
Apr 28, 2006, 11:21 PM
Hope the shape of that display isn't a sign of future quality control issues. ;)

Doctor Q
Apr 28, 2006, 11:48 PM
Since Mac OS X allows multiple logins (one computer shared by a family, for example), would the keyboard learn a profile for each user separately? Seems like that would be a requirement.

weazle1098
Apr 28, 2006, 11:48 PM
That looks like it could prove to be something neat. Apple really should implement some sort of tablet or PDA, I would LOVE an Apple PDA, not that that has really anything to do with the keyboard.

EricNau
Apr 28, 2006, 11:52 PM
I like the Microsoft split-keyboard design better.

Either way, this is hinting towards an Apple tablet/PDA type device, which is cool.

milatchi
Apr 28, 2006, 11:58 PM
I could probably learn to like and use it.

wmmk
Apr 29, 2006, 12:11 AM
am i the only one who thinks iPod with spotlight would be wicked?
this would be ber-handy in that situation!

touch scrren, spotlight, full length movies, recorded tv from miglia mini, widescreen hd, stuff from blueray discs, bluetooth, PDA-ish applications, a bigger HD? this new iPod is sure gonna be cool! ;)

the.snitch
Apr 29, 2006, 01:20 AM
I also think the split style that MS uses looks better. But its a patent for the controls behind the keys, not for the Display of the keyboard. So Apple could use whatever design they want.

Lollypop
Apr 29, 2006, 02:08 AM
I think apple has a one handed aproach where M$ wants a user to use both hands. If apple does a tablet with this design they will have to make it light weight and the wieght distribution must be even as well. But this is all asuming its for the iTablet ive been wanting for ages!!:D

generik
Apr 29, 2006, 02:12 AM
Hate to say it but Apple missed the boat, Microsoft's implementation seems way more intuitive and makes more sense. You can argue till you are blue in the face but 2 hands > 1 hand anytime.

robert-a-hudson
Apr 29, 2006, 03:45 AM
As I posted last week about the thumb-arc keyboard, I don't think Apple stole MS's idea, nor vice versa. I just think great minds think alike sometimes...


I love how if microsoft release something similar to apple, its all "microsoft copy cats, cant think of anything on their own, always stealing ideas from other companies" etc

But when its the other way around...:rolleyes:

hrmpf
Apr 29, 2006, 03:51 AM
If you're only supposed to use one hand to type using Apple's design, then it this isn't as good as the Microsoft implementation of this similar idea. And yes, it seems that Microsoft came up with this first.


I'm not sure if they did come up with first- the patent application is from September 16 last year- thats before microsoft origami- right? there are some cool images in this patent (http://hrmpf.com/wordpress/74/apple-virtual-keyboard-copying-ms-origami-or-vice-versa/)- apple has spent a lot of time figuring out how to use this virtual keyboard- they HAVE to make use of it (i hope)

http://static.flickr.com/56/131917546_d51c8d7281_m.jpg (http://hrmpf.com/wordpress/74/apple-virtual-keyboard-copying-ms-origami-or-vice-versa/)

h?
Apr 29, 2006, 04:50 AM
A couple of years ago, wasn't there a projector keyboard?? It projected light onto the table and you could use it??

h?
Apr 29, 2006, 04:51 AM
Just found it, but its not an arc.
http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/search.do?productCode=PROKEY

R.Youden
Apr 29, 2006, 05:49 AM
I think this would be a great interface for an iPod device. Maybe have it split either side of the screen so you could use each thumb and then use your fingers as mice?

Analog Kid
Apr 29, 2006, 05:52 AM
I love how if microsoft release something similar to apple, its all "microsoft copy cats, cant think of anything on their own, always stealing ideas from other companies" etc

But when its the other way around...:rolleyes:
Do you have any idea how long it takes for a patent to issue? Years... It's not like they saw Origami and ran to the patent office. This is a bit different than OS features being released years apart.

It's entirely possible that MS found the idea in Apple's patent application and took the idea up. It's also possible that Apple saw it in an MS patent filed before this one. I don't actually know that it wasn't another inventor entirely that first hit upon the idea. Or, it could be a case of simultaneous development. I think people are being fairly straight forward about having seen it in Origami first.

As far as where it will be used, the patent doesn't mean that Apple has any plans for the the invention. Tablets and handheld devices are a fresh market and Apple may have just put a task force on carving out a piece of the IP landscape in case they decided to get into it later.

I'm not sure if they did come up with first- the patent application is from September 16 last year- thats before microsoft origami- right? there are some cool images in this patent (http://hrmpf.com/wordpress/74/apple-virtual-keyboard-copying-ms-origami-or-vice-versa/)- apple has spent a lot of time figuring out how to use this virtual keyboard- they HAVE to make use of it (i hope)

How does Apple get a patent issued in 6 months? Grrr.... Ours can take 3 years or more.

Analog Kid
Apr 29, 2006, 05:58 AM
I wonder how well this is going to work in practice. I can imagine the frustration of having to hit 'x' just right outweighing the ease of hitting 's'.

Dagless
Apr 29, 2006, 06:36 AM
at first I thought "what on sweet..." but I tried a little test and it's probably easy to adapt too!

hmm.

Hattig
Apr 29, 2006, 06:49 AM
Hate to say it but Apple missed the boat, Microsoft's implementation seems way more intuitive and makes more sense. You can argue till you are blue in the face but 2 hands > 1 hand anytime.
Until you're making a note from a phone call.

I'd rather there was a good natural handwriting recognition so I could use it just like a pad of paper though in that case.

Bad Beaver
Apr 29, 2006, 08:03 AM
Hate to say it but Apple missed the boat, Microsoft's implementation seems way more intuitive and makes more sense. You can argue till you are blue in the face but 2 hands > 1 hand anytime.

Sure, but with the 1-side approach you can take use of the stylus with your other hand (pretty cool for many applications, just think about spreadsheets) or actually use the device with just one hand without a number of keys being out of reach.

blueimac'00
Apr 29, 2006, 08:24 AM
is apple making something similar to the origami?

revjay
Apr 29, 2006, 08:27 AM
Until you're making a note from a phone call.

I'd rather there was a good natural handwriting recognition so I could use it just like a pad of paper though in that case.

I'll have to agree with you on this one. I seem to remember Apple listing job opportunities for handwriting recognition software engineers...was that about a year ago? Am I dreaming this up?

Mr Skills
Apr 29, 2006, 08:32 AM
It looks to me like the MS design is for using two thumbs whereas the Apple on is for using multiple fingers on a single hand.

Thus the implication is that Origami is meant to be held the same way as, say, a PSP - but the Apple one is meant to be held like a clipboard. Implies more of a tablet than a UMPC to me.

steelfist
Apr 29, 2006, 09:58 AM
hope it's comfortable. i hate it when design and fashion makes life harder. a good example is high heels.

JGowan
Apr 29, 2006, 10:22 AM
As I posted last week about the thumb-arc keyboard, I don't think Apple stole MS's idea, nor vice versa. I just think great minds think alike sometimes.
You've got to be joking.

celebrian23
Apr 29, 2006, 11:30 AM
As someone who would never use a tablet mac, this keyboard would probably never be used by me. I don't really like the one hand thing though. Ugh. :)

ITR 81
Apr 29, 2006, 12:21 PM
You've got to be joking.


No he's not joking.

Either way the Apple one is a complete alphabet keyboard and the MS one is just one keyboard split up.

This looks good to me because I can type one handed playing online games and such.

I type with my right hand anyways..when I'm lazy.

JGowan
Apr 29, 2006, 01:37 PM
Well... I, for one, don't care if Apple grabbed it and nabbed it. It's about time that the shoe was on the foot. :)

avensis087
Apr 29, 2006, 04:34 PM
it seems like it would be implemented into a PDA sized device rather than a tablet type device because of the keystroke memory technology. more finger overlap would happen on smaller keys/screens than with larger ones, so i'm gonna let this patent point me in the direction of an Apple PDA in the future...hopefully integrated with full screen iPod....hopefully by next tuesday? :p

mr

~Shard~
Apr 29, 2006, 05:14 PM
Well... I, for one, don't care if Apple grabbed it and nabbed it. It's about time that the shoe was on the foot. :)

Well, it wouldn't be the first time Apple has blatantly stolen something then. Try not to let Steve's RDF affect you too much... :cool:

monkeyandy
Apr 29, 2006, 08:08 PM
Hate to say it but Apple missed the boat, Microsoft's implementation seems way more intuitive and makes more sense. You can argue till you are blue in the face but 2 hands > 1 hand anytime.

How would you hold it if you have to type with two hands? You would have to put it on a table. With this design you can hold it with one hand and tap in the letters with the other hand :rolleyes:

macEfan
Apr 29, 2006, 08:11 PM
I dont like it... It seems quite akward to use... Now a touch screen would be a better idea...

Airforce
Apr 30, 2006, 12:32 AM
How would you hold it if you have to type with two hands? You would have to put it on a table. With this design you can hold it with one hand and tap in the letters with the other hand :rolleyes:

No, you wouldn't have to put it on a table....you type with your thumbs. This has been said about 2-3 times on this thread already.

Analog Kid
Apr 30, 2006, 05:06 AM
You've got to be joking.
Because the idea that a short, segmented digit anchored at one corner of the device strikes a circular path as it moves was difficult to stumble on?

Analog Kid
Apr 30, 2006, 05:36 AM
The patent itself isn't for the design of a keyboard-- it is for a way of making touch screen input of "GUI" elements more reliable. Subsequent claims indicate a keyboard as being one such set of GUI elements. Apple can put whatever they want to in the drawings used in teaching the invention-- the drawings aren't the protected invention.

This is a patent application, not a patent. Nothing has been awarded or protected yet. It is a continuation-in-part of another application that I can't seem to track down using the USPTO's crappy tools. All of this goes to answering my question of how Apple got a patent issued in 6 months-- they didn't.

One thing that ties in nicely with an earlier thread is that one of the claims covers using a "plurality of simultaneous touch inputs". It's one of the later, dependent claims.

Ghost2
Apr 30, 2006, 07:58 AM
There is an arc in this old "leaked" image of a mac tablet as well. Maybe there is more of a possibility of apple creating a tablet than I had thought.

http://www.macshrine.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/02/tablet1.jpg

Cinch
Apr 30, 2006, 12:38 PM
There is an arc in this old "leaked" image of a mac tablet as well. Maybe there is more of a possibility of apple creating a tablet than I had thought.

http://www.macshrine.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/02/tablet1.jpg


I've always thought that typing on a keyboard that is 90 degree from the screen was a bit unnatural. I think typing on the screen is more ergonomics and perhaps has a "natural" feel. Think of the Sony PSP. The best scenario that I can think of is: when you read a manuscript or a paper at your desk, you don't hold it front of you, rather you look down at it. Here typing or editing a paper/tablet totally make sense to me. I believe it makes sense to see a tablet that can do a few things well e.g. Word, Acrobat reader/editor, Safari and email.

I think a perfect tablet would be capable of typing a document (Word), reading a document (Acrobat), online access (Safari and email). Other apps such as iTunes, iPhoto and Excel will fit in without compromise. This should cover about 90% of all laptop user now. This Tablet should last the entire workday without charging (10 hours). Who needs a laptop that has a sensitive screen and wires dangling from your coffee table! And for the love of style, please no optical drive to make this thing bulky!
Currently, I don't think laptop are compeling tools anymore. Seeing grotesquely looking Dell and HP laptop in coffee shops makes me want to vomit:D It is so stylist to see that massive parallel port on the back of Dell computer and the tacky design....

I rant too long
Cinch

mooncaine
May 1, 2006, 12:48 PM
How would you hold it if you have to type with two hands? You would have to put it on a table. With this design you can hold it with one hand and tap in the letters with the other hand :rolleyes:

If you're right-handed. I'm not. So far I hate the idea of an arc keyboard in the right corner of the screen. Make it switchable, for left-handers.

mooncaine
May 1, 2006, 12:54 PM
I've always thought that typing on a keyboard that is 90 degree from the screen was a bit unnatural. I think typing on the screen is more ergonomics and perhaps has a "natural" feel. .... The best scenario that I can think of is: when you read a manuscript or a paper at your desk, you don't hold it front of you, rather you look down at it.

I grew up before kids had computers, so I had to do all my schoolwork on paper -- I have many, many hours experience with hand-written, large documents. Ergonomically, typing on a keyboard [that's at the right height and angle], while looking straight ahead or slightly down at a monitor, is way, way more comfortable for long hours of work than hunching over a page, writing with one hand. Even if there were such things as proper writing desks these days, with platforms you could adjust to make the writing surface more ergonomically suitable for you, you'll find you put more strain on your body writing than if you were typing and mousing.

I don't think it feels or looks natural to type on-screen, but for portable devices, a small amount of typing done that way would be OK, I guess.

mooncaine
May 1, 2006, 01:00 PM
A couple of years ago, wasn't there a projector keyboard?? It projected light onto the table and you could use it??
I've seen quite a few implementations of the projected interactive display, at conventions, and quite a few nice applications. They all seem to depend on lots of hardware, a room to install it in, and/or very controlled lighting conditions. Not ideal for portable consumer use. Great for coin arcades, amusement parks ....