Haptic Feedback, Fingerprint Identification, and RFID Tag Readers in Future iPhones?

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has let loose a number of revealing new patent applications that cover some interesting technologies that could be used in future iPhones.

    Haptic Tactile Feedback

    Perhaps most interesting amongst the patent applications is the acknowledgement by Apple that despite the many advantages of the iPhone's multi-touch screen, a lack of tactile feedback remains its biggest disadvantage:

    The proposed solution is the adoption of "haptic" display technologies which allow for some tactile feedback from touch screen displays. Apple proposes including a grid of piezoelectronic actuators that can be activated on command. By fluctuating the frequency of these actuators, the user will "feel" different surfaces as their finger moves across it. As an example, a display could include a virtual click wheel which vibrates at a different frequency as the center. Users could easily sense the difference and use the click wheel without having to look at it.

    Haptic technology has started gaining adoption in other mobile phones and there had been some talk that Apple might have been looking to adopt it.

    Fingerprint Identification as an Input Method

    A second very intriguing patent application suggests the detection of a user's individual fingerprints as an input method. Fingerprints have already been used in computers for security purposes, but Apple's research involves the use of fingerprint patterns to actually identify distinct fingers. This could then be used to produce specific functions depending on which finger is being used. As shown in the table below, an index finger press might perform one action (PLAY/STOP) while a middle finger press could fast forward.


    The reason for such a distinction again falls back on non-visual usage. Instead of requiring the user to find a button on the touchscreen, the use of different fingers alone could trigger different commands.

    RFID Reader

    Finally, the last notable application covers the dual use of a touch screen as an RFID reader. RFID tags are small circuits that can be embedded in objects for identification using a special reader. Apple suggests that the an RFID antenna can be placed in the touch sensor panel itself, allowing it to also be used as a RFID reader. As RFID tags become more prevalent, this could add a very useful function to future touch screen devices.

    Article Link: Haptic Feedback, Fingerprint Identification, and RFID Tag Readers in Future iPhones?
  2. hidehide macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2007
  3. talkingfuture macrumors 65816


    Dec 4, 2008
    The back of beyond.
    Looking forward to the addition of feedback, will we see it on the next iPod Touch, the next iPhone or maybe even the tablet?

    Or perhaps none of the above.
  4. tjcampbell macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2006
    Interesting. I'd like to see where this goes.
  5. tallguy macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2008
    I can see the conspiracy theorists jumping all over this one. Apple working with the government to implement RFID chips into everyone, and then have Steve Jobs control the world.
  6. ipoppy macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2006
    Don't laugh!!! It is true story.:mad:
  7. puuukeey macrumors 6502

    Dec 24, 2004
    tristate area
    A) Funny I've been wondering about finding away to give touch screens a feel for a while. Futurism is such a unified thing where people all seem to want the same thing.
    B) finger prints seem like a way to recognize which finger is touching where.
    C) Don't RFID's work with surface already?
  8. 4np macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2005
    The Netherlands
    Wow, the fingerprint recognition potential seems amazing :) I'm not sure if it can also be used for authentication as the mythbusters could relatively easily circumvent systems based on fingerprint recognition :)
  9. ipoppy macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2006
    All those concepts are great under one condition which is iPhone need to be as fast as hell. Probably we are talking about quad processor from Mac Pro to make it happened. :D
    Seriously, iPhone will need much more horse power to adopt and run smoothly those applications to the point when people won't complain that their iPhone's are lagging etc. Because of this I don't think we will see that anytime soon. If that will happened I guess that would be about year 2012, but then end of world so what is the point?:p
  10. oyebto macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
  11. RichUK89 macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2008
    Hmmm.... Oyster card in iPhone? That would be one less thing to think about when leaving the house.
  12. chickenninja macrumors 6502


    Feb 13, 2008
    inside my skull
    it would be cool to have the sensation of different textures, but using electrical charges i dont know. i can feel the faint humming of a touch lamp and i find it unpleasant and this uses the same principle even if it is using piezoelectric pixels. but ya know not everyone can feel that stuff, what if you have fat fingers from eating corndogs without chewing. should i have to choose between tactile sensation and the textured chug of a corndog? NO
  13. designgeek macrumors 65816


    Jan 30, 2009
    I made fun of someone a while ago on these forums for speculating about future iPhones and OSs by saying "The next one will be able to read your mind." Now that I have read this, that might actually be the case. I humbly apologize.;)
  14. JonasLondon macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2006
    As an iPhone Generation1 user I've bravely resisted the temptation of the iPhone 3G and as I am now moving country I am looking forward to picking up my iPhone 3GS next week. This article however makes me want the next one already... amazing ideas to identify which finger is where and whether it is rotating etc. Go :apple: ! :)
  15. iphones4evry1 macrumors 65816


    Nov 26, 2008
    California, USA
    If there's some type of safeguard to ensure that my fingerprint is stored on my phone only (separate chip and never part of the main OS software), I'm all for it.

    Haptic feedback? I don't see a need for it.
  16. BeyondCloister macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2002
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    with gloves

    What I would like to see is the ability to use the iPhone whilst wearing gloves.

    It gets cold here in the winter / summer / spring / autumn and having to take off a glove to use the iPhone - or even answer a call - is a pain.

    It is not just the weather either as when cycling and the phone rings the call is missed by the time you have got a cycle glove off and the phone out.

    Or maybe this is just the price of progress.
  17. capoeirista macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2007
    Haptic feedback? Yes please!

    Just use your nose! :D
  18. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
  19. chickenninja macrumors 6502


    Feb 13, 2008
    inside my skull
    I think this technology is a logicle step from touchscreen but they should be phocusing on more important things like making it waterproof, how much of the planet is covered with water? besides what if i scratch my screen and then cant login to my own device or someone steals it and then they use it to open the vault in my volcano that also uses a fingerprint. its not good to leave your personal information lying around yet alone something as personal as a fingerprint on a phone that can slip out of a pocket.
  20. DipDog3 macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2002
    This could be interesting.

    I can see this being part of the iPhone 5G.

    Doubt we will see it anytime sooner than that cause the 4G will have OLED.
  21. MorphingDragon macrumors 603


    Mar 27, 2009
    The World Inbetween
    Thats not the crumbs of a corn dog. Thats a stroke!!!
  22. DELLsFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2009
    Oh sure, this is amazing alright ... innovative ways to lessen the dependence on visual and physical interaction with the iPhone. Yet, 3 generations + 1 (pending) update of the product before incorporating truly hands-free operation of it? Cupertino is in CA, right? Hands-Free laws there, right? Design and code done there, right? Right ...

    Oh, I'm sorry. It DID take them this long to incorporate copy/paste. I should set the bar a little lower. :rolleyes:
  23. Virtuo macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Take a look at the fingers suggested for the fingerprint readings. You'll realize that this isn't intended for use in the iPhone -- only practical on larger touch screen devices. *hint hint*
  24. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    I've never touched a haptic screen before, but by its description they always sound like an unpleasant sensation to me. And it sounds like they could only deliver very coarse resolution tactile information to your fingers. Regarding these issues, can anyone here comment on their actual experience of trying out a haptic screen?
  25. leRiCl macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2008
    I could see this technology in consumer's hands in 3 to 10 years.

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