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Apple Exploring Smart Bezel with Illuminated Buttons

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PatentlyApple reveals a new Apple patent application which details how the iPhone might get a new "smart bezel" which offers the ability to display additional indicators in the device's border.
Apple intends to introduce a method that employs a very cool secondary display scheme that utilizes a printed segmented electroluminescence display. Apple intends to use the secondary display to introduce a set of new illuminated indicators that are able morph into various controls for work and play. Illuminated gaming and productivity controls could be built into the face-side of the bezel and/or selected back-side areas of iOS devices like the iPad.
The reasoning behind embedding these indicators in the bezel itself is to provide the user visual instruction or guidance without taking up valuable screen real estate.
Apple's patent covers systems and methods for selectively illuminating a secondary display. An electronic device could include a primary display (e.g., a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen) and a secondary display (e.g., a printed segmented electroluminescence display). The primary display could be used to convey visual content to a user, and the secondary display could be used to guide a user providing inputs to the device. For example, the secondary display could be selectively illuminated to provide one or more indicators that represent where or how a user can provide inputs to the device.
The side indicators could be composed of a number of elements to allow developers to "draw" different icons. Figure 3A shows all elements in an "off" position. Figure 3B shows a + or cross, 3C a gamepad icon and 3D an up arrow.

Article Link: Apple Exploring Smart Bezel with Illuminated Buttons
 

NewYorkRanger

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2010
287
118
I would definitely prefer a Bezel-to-Bezel screen instead, at least width wise. More screen real estate the better. Top and bottom touch sections could be handy, the more you hear about this the more it seems Apple wants to utilize that space for something other then the home button.
 
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Meandmunch

macrumors 6502
Jan 3, 2002
496
143
I thought iPhone 5 rumors were pointing towards no bezel along the side edges of the screen. This patent contradicts that, just saying.
 
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vincenz

macrumors 601
Oct 20, 2008
4,271
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Sounds like one of those things that will stay on the drawing board and that's it.
 
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mdlooker

macrumors 65816
Mar 7, 2011
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There is definitely transformation in the pipe. How long the pipe is the question.
 
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nunes013

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May 24, 2010
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I like the illuminated home button. Would be nice for notifications. It was mocked up on another thread and it looks really nice.
 
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decimortis

macrumors 6502a
Aug 28, 2007
517
1,310
Toronto
Typo

Seems to be a typo in the header of the patent unless "seconday" is code for something I'm unaware of. It's just one of those days I guess. :)

D.
 
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georgethomas

macrumors newbie
Apr 5, 2011
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I think it is cool that Apple is exploring more ways to creatively design to the finest detail
 
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jouster

macrumors 65816
Jan 21, 2002
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I would definitely prefer a Bezel-to-Bezel screen instead, at least width wise. More screen real estate the better. Top and bottom touch sections could be handy, the more you hear about this the more it seems Apple wants to utilize that space for something other then the home button.

I'd prefer a smaller bezel too, but if they're going to start using non-screen areas for presenting information, I hope they also make them interactive. That works very well in WebOS.

Edit: wasn't there some talk a while back about using this sort of thing for notifications?
 
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NewYorkRanger

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2010
287
118
I thought iPhone 5 rumors were pointing towards no bezel along the side edges of the screen. This patent contradicts that, just saying.
Using that logic, a future iPhone 5 or 6 won't go back to a non-glass back, but all rumors suggest they will.
 
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solarthecat

macrumors member
Jun 4, 2007
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0
Nottingham, UK
If you think about it, the icons that are visible within all of Apple's Apps and the IOS software all of the time on the iPhone are: Signal Strength, Mobile Network, Wifi, Time and Battery Life.

This information would best be placed in the bezel. It would also then be possible to monitor your battery life when playing a game (very few games have any of this information visible because they prefer to utilize the entire screen so that your are immersed. One of the reasons is because the screen is not really as big as it could be.

Hopefully the screen will be extended wider to the edge of the bezel in the iPhone 5. And what a waste of space that pesky round home button is. Once you have woken your phone using the lock button everything else could be done with gestures alone - and the lock puts it back to sleep. Lets ditch the home button!

Instead we can have a small neat row of secondary icons along the base of the phone. These would signify number of missed calls, voicemails, unread sms messages, notifications. Now i dont even need to turn my phone on as picking it up (or shaking it) would illuminate the secondary icons giving me visual feedback of the time, date and any calls or messages I may have missed and i can even see if the phone is low on power too without using more power to turn on a retina display screen. :D
 
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Sodner

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Jan 12, 2011
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8G4)

I like the illuminated home button. Would be nice for notifications. It was mocked up on another thread and it looks really nice.

There goes battery life. :p

Using that logic, a future iPhone 5 or 6 won't go back to a non-glass back, but all rumors suggest they will.

I'd like the iPhone 5 to be a miniature of the iPad 2 in terms of design. Brushed metal back, not shinny like a Touch. :)
 
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