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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:19 AM   #1
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Apple Wins Patent for Pressure-Sensitive Device Casings




Apple was today granted a 2009 patent application to allow users to control a device by pressing on, or squeezing, parts of the casing. An illustration in the patent shows potential touch-sensitive areas across a whole range of different devices:

The patent, discovered by AppleInsider, combines two different methods of detecting and measuring the amount of pressure applied: one physical, the other electrical. The capacitance test, which works in a similar way to touchscreens, would enable the device to tell human touch apart from accidental pressure applied while the device was carried in a pocket or bag.
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Sensors disposed within the housing, in some embodiments directly beneath the surface, can detect when deflection occurs, which in turn denotes stress or pressure. In some embodiments, the sensors are connected to a printed circuit board that can in turn illuminate a light or other indicator when a minimum amount of readable stress is applied ... A processor can take the measurements with their corresponding deflection rates, and translate them into device actions. For example, a threshold stress level is reached when a user presses down on a certain area of a device's housing. The processor determines that the capacitance change is outside the bounds of normal readings and can trigger a UI event or other device feature in response. The system can be customized to detect patterns and varied sensitivities to support a broad range of tasks.
Apple patents a great many technologies it never uses, either as potential solutions that are later rejected or to protect against competitor use, although the metal casing of the iPhone 5 could make the system practical on any future iPhone models with a similar casing.

Article Link: Apple Wins Patent for Pressure-Sensitive Device Casings
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:21 AM   #2
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Mama's got a squeeze box...
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:21 AM   #3
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All these devices look so old! I can't believe in just 4 years how much mobile technology has been evolved!
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:21 AM   #4
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Great but a judge will probably reverse nearly half of this decision in a few months.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:26 AM   #5
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Great but a judge will probably reverse nearly half of this decision in a few months.
Have to agree here, I think this is nothing more than what is already out there.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:26 AM   #6
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I think that unless you build it and sell it, you shouldn't be holding those patent rights after a specific period of time.

maybe I am dumb
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:27 AM   #7
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So, if you squeeze the casing hard, it can tell the antenna to stop working properly
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:27 AM   #8
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You're holding it wrong.

No, really, you need to squeeze here and push there to check your email.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:28 AM   #9
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Now presenting the iSquishy.

- You're squeezing it wrong.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needfx View Post
I think that unless you build it and sell it, you shouldn't be holding those patent rights after a specific period of time.

maybe I am dumb
Absolutely right - it's not you that's dumb, it's the patent system that is.

The other thing would be that if you don't use it within a certain period, you must licence it at a fair price to anyone else, as in the mobile phone industry.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:29 AM   #11
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Doesn't apple use something like this in the apple(mighty) mouse?
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:30 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by thewinelake View Post
Absolutely right - it's not you that's dumb, it's the patent system that is.

The other thing would be that if you don't use it within a certain period, you must licence it at a fair price to anyone else, as in the mobile phone industry.
I was just going to edit my post to add the licensing part. totally agreed
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:36 AM   #13
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Generalizing here: A lot of these patents are used for anti-competitive reasons - stop competitors from doing the same thing. I agree - a patent should become invalid if not implemented within a given time.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:38 AM   #14
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Did they invent, and get the patent to, the button?
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:38 AM   #15
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it would be great if apple could incorporate swipe from left or right in iOS
like the notification center on ML with the trackpad.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:43 AM   #16
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This is bs. Why does Apple get to have ideas that Samsung doesn't? This should belong to Samsung.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:44 AM   #17
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Maybe they can now get rid of the stupid home button that's prone to failure because of dirt getting in-between the case and the button?
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:45 AM   #18
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Hi Nokia 6300, Hi Palm.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:47 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironsienna View Post
All these devices look so old! I can't believe in just 4 years how much mobile technology has been evolved!
That's because it hasn't... in 2009 Apple was selling the iPhone 3GS, months away from the iPad and a year away from the MBA. Why they used photos from products that were 3-10 years old is anyones guess...
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:54 AM   #20
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So are they going to go after Amazon now? Given that alot of Kindle cases already do this?
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:57 AM   #21
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Pretty much a BS patent grant. And I'm sure will be invalidated when first tested in court.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 08:58 AM   #22
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This would be good in addition to the thumb detection on the mini for greater accuracy when determining if a touch is deliberate or not.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 09:01 AM   #23
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Here's another patent granted today....really curious to see if Apple does anything with this one...

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patentl...oard.html#more
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 09:05 AM   #24
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Yeah you are dumb!

Quote:
Originally Posted by needfx View Post
I think that unless you build it and sell it, you shouldn't be holding those patent rights after a specific period of time.

maybe I am dumb
If you invent something it is yours for a fixed time defined by the patent system. That is the whole point of the patent system!!! You are free to do what you want with that invention for the period of time the patent remains active.

In a sense what you want already exists, patents on inventions don't last forever. Now you could argue about the length of time for a patent but that becomes a very combative discussion. Frankly though the patent system is more rational than the copyright system which grants you exclusivity after you are dead. If you look carefully at the two systems it is pretty obvious that the patent system is less screwed up than the copyright system.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 09:10 AM   #25
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Might this be the end of physical buttons?
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