Apple Patent: Visual Buttons?

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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MacNN describes a new Apple patent filing which reveals that Apple has been working on displaying "visual information on the surface of a device, while using the same area or visual out display to act as an input device."

Essentially, Apple describes the use of buttons which provide visual display on the button itself to provide dynamic information. While it could be used in any electronic device such as laptops, PDAs, cell phones, the application describes the possibility of its use in a "standalone device" such as a remote control.

The goal of this technology would be to streamline the user interface for users.

"By reducing or eliminating the input devices, the display of the electronic device can be maximized within the user interface portion of the electronic device, or alternatively the electronic device can be minimized to the size of the display."
There have been previous unconfirmed rumors that Apple was working on incorporating "color LCD buttons" alongside the trackpad on Macbooks. A similar concept is used on the much publicized Optimus OLED keyboard.
 

OziMac

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2003
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Would this have anything to do with the 'none-touch' interface, or is it more along the lines of a 'touchscreen' iPod?

Or is it not iPod-related at all?
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
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The interesting thing that's a bit different from the touch sensitive displays that's been discussed earlier is that they talk about using physical input sensors, like button clicks in combination with the visual information. This suggests that you actually have to apply some pressure which should be much better to use than the touch sensitive buttons on the 3rd generation iPod and the mighty mouse.
 

mkjellman

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2003
158
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cool. the only thing that i would be concerned with, is that it would become something like the chocolate from verizon. the touch buttons get in the way and you accidentally press them. i'm not sure i would want touch sensitive buttons on something i use for my primary method of input.
 

TheAnswer

macrumors 68030
Jan 25, 2002
2,520
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Orange County, CA
Wow...I don't think I've seen that keyboard before...that is awesome, since I regularly switch between the English layout and use the Spanish layout for my Spanish homework. Adding the possibilities for displaying commands and lauching apps. Awesome.
 

ibook30

macrumors 6502a
Jun 4, 2005
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2,000 light years from home
This idea could be applied to a keyboard, a mouse, an ipod, or even a Front Row remote - now that would be cool.

The current Front Row remotes are simple and elegant - but with this type of visual output from the remote, the simple buttons could take on multiple uses - making the remote soooooooo much more useful.
 

amols

macrumors regular
Mar 1, 2004
100
0
Macrumors said:


MacNN describes a new Apple patent filing which reveals that Apple has been working on displaying "visual information on the surface of a device, while using the same area or visual out display to act as an input device."
I bet it's for the new iPod. What else can you think of ??
 

ssteve

macrumors member
Jan 31, 2006
85
6
aswitcher said:
Great to see they are still innovating. I wonder if this stuff is ready to go and they are just getting the patents in place.
When did Steve and Apple stop innovating?
 

Stridder44

macrumors 68040
Mar 24, 2003
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California
Macrumors said:
A similar concept is used on the much publicized Optimus OLED keyboard.



Oh my sweet Jesus that is the coolest thing I think I've ever seen. I would buy this in a heartbeat without even thinking twice about it.

Electro Funk said:
why not just buy up the small russian company optimus and incorporate oled into the entire keyboard of apple portables and desktops? :p

If they did that (or at least incorporated it in the Laptop lineup somehow) I would ***** myself where I stand and cry tears of joy forever.
 

///mdriver

macrumors member
Nov 28, 2003
62
0
USA
its not that small of a company, the keyboard actually seems like a side project for them. Look around their site.
 

soosy

macrumors regular
May 6, 2002
215
1
I don't understand the patent system. It's amazing you can patent something so generic. Touch screens have been around for ages.
 

seenew

macrumors 68000
Dec 1, 2005
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Brooklyn
gekko513 said:
The interesting thing that's a bit different from the touch sensitive displays that's been discussed earlier is that they talk about using physical input sensors, like button clicks in combination with the visual information. This suggests that you actually have to apply some pressure which should be much better to use than the touch sensitive buttons on the 3rd generation iPod and the mighty mouse.
The mighty mouse isn't touch sensitive..
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,979
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Gone but not forgotten.
A cheaper way to do touch screens would make them universal.

We'd probably still need keyboards to speed typing but imagine being able to drag and drop file icons with a touch of your finger instead of using a mouse or other 2D device.

I'm assuming that the devices will still be slow to use but cheaper touch screens will cause competition and those displays from Wacom will certainly drop in price.
 

JackSYi

macrumors 6502a
Feb 20, 2005
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Very cool. I can definitely see a full screen iPod Video with the screen doubling as a click wheel.
 

RichyHo

macrumors member
Feb 13, 2003
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Rugby, UK
I can almost hear the cries of "My new video/touch screen ipod's all scratched!" after 5 minutes of finger abuse!
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
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The Kop
WildPalms said:
I'm surprised no one has thought of this applying to an Apple tablet....
remember back to the pixel sensing rumors i always thought that it would be amazing cool if they made it across the whole of the tablet, then you could easily scan in documents on the go and annotate them (perfect for handouts in lectures)

Now integrate this rumor with that rumor and 2+2= £billons renuve
 

puuukeey

macrumors 6502
Dec 24, 2004
327
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tristate area
this makes me very happy. I find it very inspiring that with the web, we can now witness new technologies trickling down from technical papers, to experiments, to youtube sensations, to corporate adoption.

oleds are the coolest thing since sliced bread. :) :) :) :) :)
 

Dr.Gargoyle

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2004
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lat: 55.7222°N, long: 13.1971°E
It sure looks like Apple is up to something big. Apple has filed a lot of new patents lately. I wouldnt be surprised if this patent has somethign to do with a full-screen iPod. Perhaps the 8'' inch Jobs talked about at MWSF 2006...;)