Apple Details Pressure-Sensitive Touchscreen in New Patent Application

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    An Apple patent detailing pressure-sensitive touchscreens was published today by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, reports AppleInsider. Entitled "Gesture and touch input detection through force sensing," the application describes a system in which a traditional touchscreen is complemented by multiple force-sensors in order to better log unique gestures and more complex input.

    The patent application introduces itself by describing the problems with current touchscreens found in devices, noting that some gestures such as those involving a swipe or pinch from a screen's edge are not recognized properly, or result in unintended action. Apple suggests that by deploying three or more force sensors in a touchscreen, a device can determine specific central pressure points and take appropriate action.
    Apple also states that central points determined by force sensors can determine if one or more touches are accidental, which is slightly similar to the current palm rejection technology found on the iPad Air and iPad mini. The illustration above shows a user resting the right thumb on one side of an iPad's screen while continuing to use the tablet with the left thumb. Currently, this input combination cannot be performed on iOS devices, and would potentially allow for new interactions if enabled.

    Furthermore, the patent notes that the force sensors can be positioned outside of an active touch region, which could allow for users to interact with user interface elements such as menu options that extend well beyond the immediate area of a touchscreen. This would allow a device the option to render more elements onscreen while retaining key touch elements needed offscreen, offering a secondary mode of input.

    Currently, it is unknown whether Apple plans to create such a touchscreen for its products or not, but the company has shown an interest in pressure sensitive technology before. An Apple patent detailing the integration of a pressure sensitive button in a touchscreen was published last November, and a patent that described pressure-sensitive device casings was awarded to Apple in March 2013.

    The patent application, which was originally filed on January 30, 2012 and published today, also lists Nima Parivar and Wayne C. Westerman as its inventors.

    Article Link: Apple Details Pressure-Sensitive Touchscreen in New Patent Application
  2. KieranDotW macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
    For the digital art community, this is exciting news.
  3. spacemanspifff macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2010
    Bezel be gone!

    To me, this could also mean that they can do away with the bezel around the screen - which would be good!
  4. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    Even if they could, I don't think like it's as good of an idea as it sounds like. Holding the iPad by the bezel isn't just about avoiding extraneous touch inputs; if there wasn't a bezel your thumb would be covering part of the screen at all times, limiting your access to visual data.
  5. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
    Serious question.

    Have any of these leaked patent applications from Apple EVER predicted a real upcoming product? I'm genuinely curious because these weird patents from Apple keep being posted by Macrumors and others but I can't remember a single instance where one of these strange product type patents predicted an actual future product. Does anyone else know?
  6. BvizioN macrumors 68040


    Mar 16, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    These things are geting lighter and lighter. You would just hold it having your palm on the back of it and the thumb on the side edge.
  7. AngerDanger, Jan 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014

    AngerDanger macrumors 68030

    Dec 9, 2008
    Yet they're completely ignoring the portal technology shown by the left finger in the second picture? :confused:

  8. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    Might be good in games, too? Pressure sensitive buttons feel really nice to digital ones... I like being able to adjust things like speed based on how hard you press down.
  9. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    Many eventually do. There are quite a few from the iPhone that were leaked and we're using the technology now. The original iPhone had tons of them. The touch sensor from the current generation is a recent one. Pretty much every new generation of the iPhone has some new technology with patents that were revealed to be filed years before the actual introduction of the device.

    Apple plans these things way out in advance. So the tech they are developing and filing patents for this year are for devices in the pipeline that they plan to release a few years down the road. This particular patent was filed in 2012 so we might see it in the next year or two.
  10. Tankmaze macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    Pressure sensitive touchscreen sounds great, but in my mind the screen would be "mushy"? I don't know
    But it sounds like it.
  11. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2010
    "complemented", please
  12. dannyyankou macrumors 603


    Mar 2, 2012
    Here's a few:

    I'm sure there are many I'm missing though.
  13. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Everything was going fine, until i picked up on this word "complex input"

    If these are to be extended to areas outside the touch screen, how would a user even know ?

    All i can see here is more help will be needed on the operation of their device... as a "How do I do...? " type issues.

    If people are confused now, they haven't seen anything yet.

    I reckon Apple will go for this, why wouldn't they ?? They like anything that's 'touchy'

    Its only convenient to them, not to anyone else. In fact all this stuff causes more confusion for people, which is why Apple must teach people...

    It was never like this before gestures came along..

    I just wish Apple would not only make products easy to use, but also think about their customers.... Then again,, if they provide extra help, then it's their own fault....

    Microsoft doesn't need to do this, because its second nature to use Windows..

    Apple must have workshops because, from my understanding, Apple's comes up with too much junk like this, too many ways to do the same thing, only because they have to honor Steve's "one button crap", Not looking out for everyone here..

    I don't mind a few ways to do a few things, same with touch on iPad/iPhone, but going over the top with all sorts of more finger work just because it looks "cool" and not because it will save you time, Apple really lost the plot here.
  14. lilo777 macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2009
    Nope. They never do. All the relevant patents are filed after the product is announced.
  15. osx11 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2011
    Not to mention the location of the FaceTime camera and the home button.

    However, I think the top and bottom bezel could very well be reduced while keeping the home button and FaceTime camera.

    I think the home button is here to stay, especially now with TouchID. It's part of Apple's simplicity. Want to back to the home screen: press the only 'front' button on the device.
  16. Jimmy James macrumors 68030

    Oct 26, 2008
    Your post can be summed up with your last sentence. What is this rambling?
  17. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    We'll see in time just how much stuff Apple can add.

    If Apple had anything, i bet they would remove the Home button and just use a few fingers to get back to the Home screen :p Something i sure hope they don't start doing.
  18. BigBeast macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2009
    Even though a home button is present on the device sketch, it wouldn't surprise me if this tech was used to remove the necessity of a home button.
  19. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    An even more exciting one would be adding true Wacom support...
  20. jclardy macrumors 68030


    Oct 6, 2008
    That works when sitting or standing, but what about lounging on the couch or laying down?

    And other than that what advantage does having no bezel bring? Being a quarter of an inch smaller on the sides? Also consider using the smart cover for typing, the edge of the screen is now essentially on the table.
  21. willcapellaro macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2011
    Did the home button run over your childhood pet or something? I find it extremely useful.
  22. Z400Racer37 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2011
    I knew this was coming when they patented the same thing for the trackpad! Awesome! :D
  23. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
  24. melendezest macrumors 65816


    Jan 28, 2010
    Where you can wear boardshorts in Winter
    That would be useful on the rumored, larger iPad "Pro", especially for digital artists who've been pining for Wacom support or something like it.

    It's all about the end product experience, so we'll see if this is successfully implemented.

    Encouraging, though, that they are at least exploring the idea.

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