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Apple Exploring Pressure Sensitive Touch Input

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. macrumors bot



    Apple has filed a patent application published on October 4th, which reveals that as far back as March 2006, they have been investigating the possibility of pressure sensitive touch screens.

    Apple describes that historically, purely pressure-sensitive screens offer little advantage as an input device. The resultant "stiction" created between the finger and the touch surface makes it difficult to operate smoothly.

    Instead, resistive (Newton, Palm) touch displays and more recently capacitive (iPhone) displays have dominated the market. Neither of these touch screen technologies, however, measure the degree of pressure the user applies to the screen. By incorporating this pressure information in a hybrid capacitive + pressure display, Apple believes useful information could be gleaned to provide a better user experience.

    This is not the first time that Apple has described the use of "pressure" information to aid in gathering information from the user. A patent application published in March 2006 also describes the use of pressure and length of time pressed as variables that might change action. An example provided is when the user is given the option of a "Delete" button, the user would have to press harder for the delete button to be acknowledged.

    Article Link
  2. macrumors Penryn


    An interesting development beyond past touch technology.
  3. macrumors G4

    Wacom graphic tablets have always been pressure sensitive. their better tablets are also sensitive to the angle the pen makes to the surface. These work well.

    Fingers are different then pens. I can see where using finger presuure you might be able to control how many pages you pick up if you are flipping pages on a document. Or in a game how hard you hit something
  4. BTW
    macrumors 6502

    Maybe this is the technology that will give us cut, copy, and paste on the next revision of the iPhone and iPod touch.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    This is going to be really interesting
  6. macrumors 68020


    Sounds good, but you don't want to push too hard on an LCD... on the Wacom tablets it's really no problem...
  7. macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    lets just hope people don't press too hard...
  8. macrumors newbie


    That's funny because in M.I.D.I. music development it is called Aftertouch.
  9. macrumors 65816


    Pressure detection opens up a world of potential for any input device from track pads and keyboards to displays and iPods.
    Apple's on a roll.
  10. macrumors 6502

    I hope Apple will release a modern Newton device soon, possibly with innovative display and user input. I would be among the first to rush and get it. For now, I have to use the Sony P1 or Palm. I'm sure Apple would be particularly innovative in this field, where other companies sleep as usual.
  11. macrumors 601


    cut, copy, and paste

    This would be ideal for text editing. However, the glass might need more flexibility (thinner) in order to respond to subtle differences in pressure. All in all it would be the greatest thing since "touch sensitive electric piano keys." (Aftertouch)
  12. macrumors member

    Anyone Else Think This?

    Dual Screen!
  13. macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    as touch screen technology is the way of the future for handheld devices, this is the logical step for apple to take after multi-touch
  14. macrumors 601


    Don't forget about the Wacom Cintiq.
  15. macrumors regular

    Mr. Amiga500

    I think they've already incorporated this technology into my iPod. It now completely ignores my attempts to turn it off with normal pressure and I must press really hard. "Turn OFF, damn you!"
  16. macrumors 6502


    Ya those Cintiqs are nice tablets.The designer on American Chopper uses one you see quite often.

    Maybe one day someone will design a surface you can use real world brushes on,but paint digitally upon.Now that would be very cool.you could use a cheapo taklon or ox hair brush or something and have it paint like a mega bucks Sable brush :D
  17. Guest


    apple really needs to make their mighty mouse scroll ball touch sensitive... because you can't really open the mouse to clean the gunk out from the scroll ball, these mice have very short shelf lives...
  18. macrumors P6


    sounds pretty interesting. seems like it might be awhile before this is introduced though (in an apple product).....but you never know
  19. macrumors 65816


    This is already implemented in the iPod touch and the iPhone. Press hard enough and you get a very realistic image of a crack, complete with sound effects :eek:
  20. macrumors newbie

    Tablet maybe????

    sounds like this may go along with bringing back the newton or creating some kind of tablet many tablet pc's implement pressure sensitivity the harder you press the thicker the line that is created so possibly it could have something to do with the previous story about apple trying to develop some type of tablet but just an idea:)
  21. macrumors newbie

    Calendar for the Touch?

    How hard would you have to press to get "Add" functionality in the iPod Touch calendar???
  22. macrumors 65816


    It's definitely time for a tablet, and I think Apple will come up with it and do it better than anyone imagined, as they usually do. I.e. full size on-screen keyboard, multi touch screen, and some other wonderful innovation we hadn't thought of.

    Either that or Microsoft will beat them to it very soon (I saw something on TV recently about their own desk-size equivalent of multi-touch), and I'm sure they wouldn't want that ;)
  23. macrumors 6502a


    Can we say "WACOM Cintiq" together?
  24. macrumors 601


    Wacom Cintiq

    Didn't realize that you were able to use fingers on the Wacom.........
  25. macrumors member

    BTW you hit the nail on the head!
    iPhone(maybe), iPod touch(maybe), and i?????(definitely)


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