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MacRumors
Aug 16, 2006, 09:49 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

MacNN describes (http://www.macnn.com/articles/06/08/16/apples.display.actuator/) a new Apple patent filing which reveals that Apple has been working on displaying "visual information on the surface of a device, while using the same area or visual out display to act as an input device."

Essentially, Apple describes the use of buttons which provide visual display on the button itself to provide dynamic information. While it could be used in any electronic device such as laptops, PDAs, cell phones, the application describes the possibility of its use in a "standalone device" such as a remote control.

The goal of this technology would be to streamline the user interface for users.

"By reducing or eliminating the input devices, the display of the electronic device can be maximized within the user interface portion of the electronic device, or alternatively the electronic device can be minimized to the size of the display."

There have been previous unconfirmed rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/02/20060220231534.shtml) that Apple was working on incorporating "color LCD buttons" alongside the trackpad on Macbooks. A similar concept is used on the much publicized Optimus OLED keyboard (http://www.artlebedev.com/portfolio/optimus/).

OziMac
Aug 16, 2006, 09:53 PM
Would this have anything to do with the 'none-touch' interface, or is it more along the lines of a 'touchscreen' iPod?

Or is it not iPod-related at all?

gekko513
Aug 16, 2006, 09:55 PM
The interesting thing that's a bit different from the touch sensitive displays that's been discussed earlier is that they talk about using physical input sensors, like button clicks in combination with the visual information. This suggests that you actually have to apply some pressure which should be much better to use than the touch sensitive buttons on the 3rd generation iPod and the mighty mouse.

mkjellman
Aug 16, 2006, 10:00 PM
cool. the only thing that i would be concerned with, is that it would become something like the chocolate from verizon. the touch buttons get in the way and you accidentally press them. i'm not sure i would want touch sensitive buttons on something i use for my primary method of input.

TheAnswer
Aug 16, 2006, 10:02 PM
Wow...I don't think I've seen that keyboard before...that is awesome, since I regularly switch between the English layout and use the Spanish layout for my Spanish homework. Adding the possibilities for displaying commands and lauching apps. Awesome.

wmmk
Aug 16, 2006, 10:04 PM
i would SOOOoOOOOOOOOOOO pay an extra $50 to get this on the macbook i plan to buy next spring!

Electro Funk
Aug 16, 2006, 10:11 PM
why not just buy up the small russian company optimus and incorporate oled into the entire keyboard of apple portables and desktops? :p

Aldyn
Aug 16, 2006, 10:20 PM
hmmmmmm

as soon as i thought of this, optimus came to mind. just like someone else said.

http://www.artlebedev.com/portfolio/optimus/

ibook30
Aug 16, 2006, 10:24 PM
This idea could be applied to a keyboard, a mouse, an ipod, or even a Front Row remote - now that would be cool.

The current Front Row remotes are simple and elegant - but with this type of visual output from the remote, the simple buttons could take on multiple uses - making the remote soooooooo much more useful.

aswitcher
Aug 16, 2006, 10:30 PM
Great to see they are still innovating. I wonder if this stuff is ready to go and they are just getting the patents in place.

MattyMac
Aug 16, 2006, 10:36 PM
niiiiiiiiiice!

No matter what it is, we all know apple won't let us down:D

amols
Aug 16, 2006, 10:40 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

MacNN describes (http://www.macnn.com/articles/06/08/16/apples.display.actuator/) a new Apple patent filing which reveals that Apple has been working on displaying "visual information on the surface of a device, while using the same area or visual out display to act as an input device."

I bet it's for the new iPod. What else can you think of ??

ssteve
Aug 16, 2006, 10:47 PM
Great to see they are still innovating. I wonder if this stuff is ready to go and they are just getting the patents in place.

When did Steve and Apple stop innovating?

Stridder44
Aug 16, 2006, 10:59 PM
A similar concept is used on the much publicized Optimus OLED keyboard (http://www.artlebedev.com/portfolio/optimus/).




Oh my sweet Jesus that is the coolest thing I think I've ever seen. I would buy this in a heartbeat without even thinking twice about it.

why not just buy up the small russian company optimus and incorporate oled into the entire keyboard of apple portables and desktops? :p


If they did that (or at least incorporated it in the Laptop lineup somehow) I would ***** myself where I stand and cry tears of joy forever.

///mdriver
Aug 16, 2006, 11:59 PM
its not that small of a company, the keyboard actually seems like a side project for them. Look around their site.

soosy
Aug 17, 2006, 12:02 AM
I don't understand the patent system. It's amazing you can patent something so generic. Touch screens have been around for ages.

seenew
Aug 17, 2006, 12:38 AM
The interesting thing that's a bit different from the touch sensitive displays that's been discussed earlier is that they talk about using physical input sensors, like button clicks in combination with the visual information. This suggests that you actually have to apply some pressure which should be much better to use than the touch sensitive buttons on the 3rd generation iPod and the mighty mouse.

The mighty mouse isn't touch sensitive..

bousozoku
Aug 17, 2006, 01:16 AM
A cheaper way to do touch screens would make them universal.

We'd probably still need keyboards to speed typing but imagine being able to drag and drop file icons with a touch of your finger instead of using a mouse or other 2D device.

I'm assuming that the devices will still be slow to use but cheaper touch screens will cause competition and those displays from Wacom will certainly drop in price.

JackSYi
Aug 17, 2006, 01:20 AM
Very cool. I can definitely see a full screen iPod Video with the screen doubling as a click wheel.

Macnoviz
Aug 17, 2006, 01:27 AM
Sounds like iPhone to me:)



Will this be implemented in the new Powerbooks thuesday ?

RichyHo
Aug 17, 2006, 03:20 AM
I can almost hear the cries of "My new video/touch screen ipod's all scratched!" after 5 minutes of finger abuse!

WildPalms
Aug 17, 2006, 03:24 AM
I'm surprised no one has thought of this applying to an Apple tablet....

xUKHCx
Aug 17, 2006, 05:50 AM
I'm surprised no one has thought of this applying to an Apple tablet....

remember back to the pixel sensing rumors i always thought that it would be amazing cool if they made it across the whole of the tablet, then you could easily scan in documents on the go and annotate them (perfect for handouts in lectures)

Now integrate this rumor with that rumor and 2+2= £billons renuve

puuukeey
Aug 17, 2006, 06:14 AM
this makes me very happy. I find it very inspiring that with the web, we can now witness new technologies trickling down from technical papers, to experiments, to youtube sensations, to corporate adoption.

oleds are the coolest thing since sliced bread. :) :) :) :) :)

Dr.Gargoyle
Aug 17, 2006, 07:47 AM
It sure looks like Apple is up to something big. Apple has filed a lot of new patents lately. I wouldnt be surprised if this patent has somethign to do with a full-screen iPod. Perhaps the 8'' inch Jobs talked about at MWSF 2006...;)

louden
Aug 17, 2006, 08:26 AM
It's kind of like next gen Star Trek - all the input devices to the pcs (or whatever they used) were also used to read infomration.

Who needs a keyboard?

wwworry
Aug 17, 2006, 08:29 AM
it looks like Apple is moving to "own" the touch screen interface. Good for Apple. I'm not sure how it will benefit everyone else unless they buy an Apple product. The whole patent thing is out of control.

But it looks good for OS 11. Touch screens will rulez. Just like on Space Wars or Star Battles or whatever.

guzhogi
Aug 17, 2006, 08:50 AM
I like that OLED keyboard. Before you know it, we'll have Star Trek style consoles.

mprenfro
Aug 17, 2006, 09:08 AM
if I understand this right, this means we are actually touching the screen.
Won't it get messy or have a lot of fingerprints or whatever.
I hate dirty screens. Am I the only one?:eek:

T'hain Esh Kelch
Aug 17, 2006, 09:16 AM
if I understand this right, this means we are actually touching the screen.
Won't it get messy or have a lot of fingerprints or whatever.
I hate dirty screens. Am I the only one?:eek:
Im pretty sure its gonna be low resolution displays, so you probably wont notice so much.

Unless its on the iPod of course..

GregA
Aug 17, 2006, 09:29 AM
This idea could be applied to a keyboard, a mouse, an ipod, or even a Front Row remote - now that would be cool.
I bet it's for the new iPod. What else can you think of ??
Sounds like iPhone to me:)
I'm thinking a really simple iPhone.

15 keys (3 across, 5 down)
- Phone mode: numbers, *, #, send/end etc
- Music Shuffle mode: >, >>, <<, ||, stop etc

Plus a really simple 3 line display.

Of course, would they make a simple phone?

slffl
Aug 17, 2006, 09:49 AM
I see no reason to add any more buttons to the laptops. Why would I want to take my hands off the keyboard to press a shortcut button when I can do the same thing on the keyboard in 3-5 keystrokes?

inlimbo
Aug 17, 2006, 10:38 AM
I see no reason to add any more buttons to the laptops. Why would I want to take my hands off the keyboard to press a shortcut button when I can do the same thing on the keyboard in 3-5 keystrokes?

I agree. I have one of those ergonomic microsoft keyboards on my PC which has a shortcut button to mycomputer, outlook, IE etc.. I never use 'em. On mac I just use quicksilver as a launcher. Don't see the need for more keys.

bassman
Aug 17, 2006, 12:07 PM
I remember reading an article about a technology were sensors are embedded between pixels. The result would be a screen that could look at you. You would be able to look the person you are video chatting with in the eye.

Just a thought

shawnce
Aug 17, 2006, 01:04 PM
I remember reading an article about a technology were sensors are embedded between pixels. The result would be a screen that could look at you. You would be able to look the person you are video chatting with in the eye.

Apple filed a patent about what you are talking about... review patent application 20060007222 (http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20060007222.PGNR.&OS=dn/20060007222&RS=DN/20060007222?jTKMo)

(note this is separate from the patents related to this thread.... however one could see them being used together)

shawnce
Aug 17, 2006, 01:08 PM
I see no reason to add any more buttons to the laptops. Why would I want to take my hands off the keyboard to press a shortcut button when I can do the same thing on the keyboard in 3-5 keystrokes?

Assuming you are referring to the folks talking about OLED keyboard...

The general point isn't more buttons but instead make existing buttons (keyboard keys) display what they are currently configured to trigger (either static configuration or dynamic in response to current usage mode or state of modifier keys).

shawnce
Aug 17, 2006, 01:14 PM
I'm thinking a really simple iPhone.

15 keys (3 across, 5 down)
- Phone mode: numbers, *, #, send/end etc
- Music Shuffle mode: >, >>, <<, ||, stop etc

Plus a really simple 3 line display.

Of course, would they make a simple phone?

If Apple does make a phone it will likely be simple... likely close to what you state. It will likely have few physical inputs (no sliding out keyboards, etc.) but those physical input would likely be multitasked to support different operational modes of the device (phone, music player, etc.).

If they leveraged displays integrated with the physical inputs then the visual appearance of the physical input can change to reflect what it currently does based on the current operation mode.

theheadguy
Aug 17, 2006, 01:45 PM
When did Steve and Apple stop innovating?
umm, nobody said they stopped?

steve_hill4
Aug 17, 2006, 04:22 PM
What I find interesting is in the picture, the laptop has two buttons. Considering the picture of what looks like an iPod appears to be 1G/2G, we can assume this was a few years back. Just strange they would use a two button picture, unless they are trying to throw people of the Apple scent.

///mdriver
Aug 17, 2006, 04:40 PM
I agree. I have one of those ergonomic microsoft keyboards on my PC which has a shortcut button to mycomputer, outlook, IE etc.. I never use 'em. On mac I just use quicksilver as a launcher. Don't see the need for more keys.

I cannot believe that I just discovered quicksilver.

Ryan5505
Aug 17, 2006, 10:55 PM
I just installed Quicksilver....WOW!

Maybe we can see something similar in the next OSX

lord_flash
Aug 18, 2006, 04:54 AM
When did Steve and Apple stop innovating?

Well, I dunno... when they just spent the whole year bringing out the same computers in the same enclosures with different processors. Don't get me wrong, they're very impressive, but there has not really been anything that wasn't incremental in the last year or so. And Leapord didn't look that exciting. Some of the features (Backup management, multiple desktops) have been kicking aroung on windows for a while, even if they're less elegant or hidden in the control pannel.

And Tiger principally stole ideas from Konfabulator.

I'd say they stopped innovating a couple of years ago. When, roughly, do you think? Can we pin down a date? ;-)

inlimbo
Aug 18, 2006, 07:41 AM
I cannot believe that I just discovered quicksilver.

I just installed Quicksilver....WOW!

Maybe we can see something similar in the next OSX

Well I guess that is spotlight really. But I agree, its better to use both (quicksilver as a application launcher and spotlight to find files etc...)

I let spotlight do its thing (serching docs etc) but I set quicksilver to only search my applications folder. I use the ctrl+shift+space as the shortcut for quicksilver (ctrl+space is spotlight).

ha ha. Better late than never mdriver. :) Funny how some people don't know about quicksilver. I couldn't live without it. Glad you guys like it. :)

notjustjay
Aug 18, 2006, 12:52 PM
Well, I dunno... when they just spent the whole year bringing out the same computers in the same enclosures with different processors. Don't get me wrong, they're very impressive, but there has not really been anything that wasn't incremental in the last year or so.

So, you don't think bringing over the essential "Mac user experience", the hardware AND the operating system AND all of your core software, to an entirely new processor architecture, new chipsets, with new board manufacturers, new suppliers, etc., while retaining the same form factor on the outside (completely retooling the insides) AND lowering the prices of the final product, all in less than a year, is innovating?

mindwurm
Aug 18, 2006, 02:34 PM
Very cool. I can definitely see a full screen iPod Video with the screen doubling as a click wheel.

I agree. I've seen psuedo prototypes of this...Imagine an iPod with the entire front comprised of a screen, capable of showing widescreen movie content. The screen would double as the control surface, hence the patent.

///mdriver
Aug 18, 2006, 06:40 PM
Well, I dunno... when they just spent the whole year bringing out the same computers in the same enclosures with different processors. Don't get me wrong, they're very impressive, but there has not really been anything that wasn't incremental in the last year or so. And Leapord didn't look that exciting. Some of the features (Backup management, multiple desktops) have been kicking aroung on windows for a while, even if they're less elegant or hidden in the control pannel.

And Tiger principally stole ideas from Konfabulator.

I'd say they stopped innovating a couple of years ago. When, roughly, do you think? Can we pin down a date? ;-)

I agree on the Konfabulator, but as far as the rest of what you mention, I'd like to see you run a successful company and still turn a profit if you had to make changes like that as often as you demand.

squarelover
Aug 19, 2006, 01:05 AM
I don't think that Apple can patent such device. Other things with the very same description already exist. For instance take a look at the Lemur (http://www.cycling74.com/products/lemur) Musical interface control device. There also has been numerous devices and parts (http://www.nkksmartswitch.com/) and such that already do what is described in the patent.

I just don't think this one should pass. But ultimately, so many patents slip through easily (http://www.paulgraham.com/softwarepatents.html).

Elijahg
Aug 19, 2006, 04:12 AM
I agree on the Konfabulator, but as far as the rest of what you mention, I'd like to see you run a successful company and still turn a profit if you had to make changes like that as often as you demand.

Apple had widgets or Desk Accessories waaay back in Mac OS 6 or 7. Probably before the Konfabulator people were out of high school...

mooncaine
Aug 19, 2006, 11:44 PM
... when there are already devices on the market that do what's described? I'd like to see the patent application, just out of curiosity. The text of the story suggests nothing new, only things that have already been done and sometimes even already brought to market.

ezekielrage_99
Aug 20, 2006, 08:08 AM
I've been trying to get a hold of the OLED keyboard for sometime now if Apple released one I'd buy in a second because of the cool factor :cool:

ianogden
Aug 20, 2006, 09:13 AM
If Apple does make a phone it will likely be simple... likely close to what you state. It will likely have few physical inputs (no sliding out keyboards, etc.) but those physical input would likely be multitasked to support different operational modes of the device (phone, music player, etc.).

If they leveraged displays integrated with the physical inputs then the visual appearance of the physical input can change to reflect what it currently does based on the current operation mode.

From older product releases, and similar articles and patents, it strikes me that Apple would release a phone that was just a display. The inputs could be in the form of touch screen pads, rather that a full touch screen. This would enable no form of sliding mechanisms, and the pad would change according to what mode the phone was in, similar to the above quote.

I feel that due to all of the recent patents and things, Apple seem to be investigating alternative input methods, so a voice, or touch screen ipod could be on the cards come Spring next year.

I remember reading an article about a technology were sensors are embedded between pixels. The result would be a screen that could look at you. You would be able to look the person you are video chatting with in the eye.

This also leads me to speculate that Apple could also have an idea to incorporte some form of Virtual Reality simulations into their new OS, Leopard, if they have developed a screen that could sense, like a camera. This could be one of the closely guarded secrets that Jobs mentioned in his Keynote at the WWDC 06. I mean, its a long shot, but I have my fingers crossed for things like this in the future. Matrix here we come!

MrCrowbar
Aug 20, 2006, 12:39 PM
I just installed Quicksilver....WOW!

Maybe we can see something similar in the next OSX

We will. They announced at the WWDC keynote that you will acces applications with a few keystrokes in spotlight. You can already do it in tiger, but it's not good for everyday use. I guess they optimized it to be pretty much like quicksilver.

bigmoosey
Aug 21, 2006, 09:52 AM
For the past year or so Apple has had some interesting patents that we have not seen bear fruit yet. They have had some interesting acquisitions that have gone unnoticed. (two in the multi-touch arena) See the link.

http://www.macobserver.com/columns/devilsadvocate/2006/20060815uis.shtml

If you remember they had that patent about piles (watch the videos of piles in action from the above url).

Apple has implemented multi-touch trackpad features, such as scrolling and right clicking through a mutli finger gesture.

I believe that Apple is building to release a new computer, the long fabled 'tablet' we have waited so long for. The only differenece is that tablets are horible and fit a very small niche.

Imagine a MackBook Pro like enclosure, with two displays. One in the traditional display spot, and another replacing the keyboard and trackpad on the base. When you open the device you have two displays, where the bottom one is used for a fully multi-touch interface and the top one for visulaization.

Now apple has achieved something ENTIRELY new that will carry a large pricetag and innovate. 3 things they like to do.

I will start the betting at the ship of Leopard for this new device/enclosure. Any takers?

Macnoviz
Aug 21, 2006, 10:46 AM
Talking of Zune, I really hope microsoft will copy from the rumors of the none-touch iPod, and implement voice recognition (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLa3Wac4O2A):D :D :D :D

Zwhaler
Aug 21, 2006, 12:33 PM
I bet it's for the new iPod. What else can you think of ??

It has to be, because it is a prime product that can be used for this.

backdraft
Aug 21, 2006, 05:22 PM
http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/cellphones/synaptics-mobile-phone-concept-195598.php

http://www.engadget.com/2006/04/26/apple-patent-embeds-thousands-of-cameras-among-lcd-pixels/

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/cellphones/synaptics-mobile-phone-concept-195598.php

Add all 3 and things would be interesting.

thorbens
Aug 24, 2006, 07:03 AM
No doubt: It's the 6G iPod

Look here:

http://www.ipodlife.de/galerie/displayimage.php?album=39&pos=1

http://www.ipodlife.de/galerie/displayimage.php?album=39&pos=0