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Old Dec 10, 2013, 08:15 AM   #1
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Apple Awarded Patent Detailing Unique Curved Touch Sensor




Apple has been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (via AppleInsider) detailing a manufacturing technique applied to the production of curved touch sensors to be used in existing components such as displays, touch pads, and touch mice.

The patent, which was filed in November 2010, introduces itself by describing the problem with existing touch sensor panels, stating that they are sometimes difficult to produce because of their thinness, which leads to a risk of damaging panel components. The technology in the patent however, details a curved sensor benefiting from increased strength and enhanced viewing properties without warping or deformation to the surface during initial assembly.
Quote:
By depositing and patterning thin film, for example, on substrate while in a flat state, and then annealing, for example, the thin film when the substrate is joined to a forming substrate, the substrate can be curved to a desired curvature. Further, thin film can receive the benefits of the annealing process, such as increased strength and conductivity and enhanced optical properties, without undesired warping or deformation to the substrate.
In detail, the patent states that while some current electronics appear to have curved displays, the devices in question suffer from a degraded touch sensitivity because of the distance between the cover glass and the actual drive and sense electrodes in the device due to current manufacturing techniques.

Meanwhile, Apple describes its manufacturing process as allowing the thickness of a curved touch sensor panel to remain constant, with touch sensitivity remaining high since the distance between the cover glass and thin film is akin to flat touch sensor panels that have a high amount of touch sensitivity.

It is unknown exactly how or even whether Apple plans to utilize this technology in its products, but competitors such as Samsung and LG have already touted curved displays as key features in their products such as the Galaxy Round and the G Flex, respectively.

Apple is also said to be testing larger-screen iPhone prototypes with curved displays, as well as enhanced touch sensors for later models. Earlier this year, an Apple patent application describing a flexible wraparound display for devices such as the iPhone was published, further stoking rumors of such a feature making its way into the next iPhone.

Article Link: Apple Awarded Patent Detailing Unique Curved Touch Sensor
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 08:17 AM   #2
kunaicode
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This is practically a confirmation that the iWatch is coming. Either that or a REALLY COOL touchscreen 4K Cinema Display.

Apple is doomed.
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 08:19 AM   #3
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Round. And does it stick out?
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 08:20 AM   #4
sleek881
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Curved display iPhone!
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 08:21 AM   #5
Fattytail
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Originally Posted by sleek881 View Post
Curved display iPhone!
I honestly still don't get the point of that. Doesn't seem to have any major benefits.
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 08:24 AM   #6
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Take a look at a Magic Mouse and you have a pretty good idea what the next iPhone will look and feel like.
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 08:29 AM   #7
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If this is for a curved phone and not for the iWatch I'll facepalm so hard scientists will think Betelgeuse has finally gone supernova.
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 08:32 AM   #8
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For a mouse or watch… maybe I can see the point.

For an iPhone or iPad… just no.
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 08:35 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by kunaicode View Post
This is practically a confirmation that the iWatch is coming. Either that or a REALLY COOL touchscreen 4K Cinema Display.

Apple is doomed.
I can wrap my head around an iWatch. I can see that coming to fruition. For the life of me I can't envision someone wanting a touchscreen 4K Cinema Display. The ergonomics don't seem to work (arm fatigue), additionally finger condoms to negate fingerprints, and the change in workflow routine just don't justify touch for the sake of. The point of the high DPI is incredible detail. If half your time is spent wiping the screen, I just don't see the point <-(intended).

Admittedly, I have a limited imagination. Maybe that's why I can't see what you see.

On topic: Curved... meh.
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 08:35 AM   #10
Bare
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Right now, I can't picture the iPhone 6 with curved glass, but I'm sure it will be cool to see when it's released (or, more likely, in the leaks).
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 08:39 AM   #11
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Or it could just be this: http://www.apple.com/magicmouse/
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 08:48 AM   #12
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Wearable (watch/not-watch)? Maybe.

I'm imagining a band of three square "widget" apps stacked together around your wrist, and you'd swipe to scroll through more. Tap any one to make it fill the 1x3 screen for actual interactive usage, and pinch the screen to minimize the current app to a widget again. I wouldn't mind having time, weather and map always visible, say. (Even dependent on an iPhone tether it would be still useful. Refresh when the wearable's internal M7 dictates.)

For any device large enough for normal touch gesture usage (drawing, non-thumb typing, screen-swiping) a curve would just feel annoying, and look annoying too when not held straight on. Unless it's so slight they need not bother.

Apple patents lots of stuff they invent, "just in case": so no competitor can later invent the same thing and block Apple from using it if an unexpected need arises.

Quote:
Originally Posted by longofest View Post
Or it could just be this: http://www.apple.com/magicmouse/
Some kind of display-mouse would be neat! (Didn't Apple patent something recently about display-trackpads?) Sounds cool although I'm not sure if it would be useful enough to be worth Apple's bother.
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 08:57 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Porco View Post
For a mouse or watch… maybe I can see the point.

For an iPhone or iPad… just no.
Maybe the iPhone 6 will be round like the new Mac Pro.
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 09:03 AM   #14
knightlie
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Originally Posted by sleek881 View Post
Curved display iPhone!
No.

Edit: This is why.
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 09:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunaicode View Post
This is practically a confirmation that the iWatch is coming. Either that or a REALLY COOL touchscreen 4K Cinema Display.

Apple is doomed.
You do know this patent was first filed in 2010.
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 09:08 AM   #16
nagromme
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Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
You do know this patent was first filed in 2010.
Apple patents tell us almost nothing about their plans, but they were probably working on a watch in the 1800s.

(And will probably count it as one of the devices in the lab that they're proud to say No to!)
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 09:16 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
You do know this patent was first filed in 2010.
What does file date tell you (other than the date they filed)?
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 09:30 AM   #18
darklyt
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I think the application is pretty clear:



Curved MBPr!

In all seriousness, I like the flat design of the current iPhones and iPads (particularly the back) so I'm personally hoping that any application comes in the form of a watch or a "wrapped" touch sensor/screen for gestures on iDevices and mice(/trackpads?).
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 09:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meandmunch View Post
Take a look at a Magic Mouse and you have a pretty good idea what the next iPhone will look and feel like.
I often forget that my magic mouse is a curved touchpad. thanks for the reminder.

Myo + curved screen = iWatch. anything else is a letdown.
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 10:03 AM   #20
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I highly doubt this would be for iPhone, this has iwatch all over it.
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 10:06 AM   #21
scrmtrey
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I really hope this is not for the iphone, iPad, macbook pro.... For iwatch it looks very compatible.


If yes for iphone, iPad, macbook pro then I'm going to stay with iphone5 till i die.

Apple following LG and Samsung like a ship for curved ****.
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 10:23 AM   #22
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Quote:
competitors such as Samsung and LG have already touted curved displays
The difference is that both of those manufacturers created a concave curvature. Apple is looking into a convex shape.

I wouldn't be surprised if that patent was in fact related to the Magic Mouse.
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 10:54 AM   #23
blue22
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A watch, or mouse, but very doubtful for a phone...

I can see this applied to the rumored iWatch, but not the iPhone6 so much.
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 11:19 AM   #24
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Curved Touch ID on iPad 6th generation and iPad Mini 3
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Old Dec 10, 2013, 11:45 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Fattytail View Post
I honestly still don't get the point of that. Doesn't seem to have any major benefits.
Samsung made one and all it did was create a blind spot on the screen.
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