Speculation: Back surface touch on 4G?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by madforrit, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. madforrit macrumors regular

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    #1
    This is pure speculation on my part. I don't have any inside information. :cool:

    With the confirmed 4G having been leaked, one design feature that seems to have largely gone unnoticed is that the back of the device is made from supposedly the same glass as the front.

    It's entirely possible that this is simply an aesthetic choice.

    I don't have data on how much a glass back costs relative plastic or metal, but it doesn't seem to make a whole lot of economic sense. Unless, of course, the back has touch sensitivity.

    An Apple patent filed not too long ago described the back of the phone also utilizing a capacitive touch surface. This was around the time when the new iPhone OS (4) was going to be "interacted with in surprising ways" and we thought the 3GS might be a crazy departure in terms of hardware and software.

    Well, maybe on Monday we'll get to see a phone that also has a capacitive back surface that can accept simple gestures. Double-tap the back to hang up your call? Certainly makes sense if you're video chatting, instead of having to "point at" the person you're chatting with right before you hang them up. And a rear surface for apps and gaming would be pretty revolutionary. I can only imagine what devs would do with it.

    It's just a thought in the pre-WWDC buildup. I'm not sure if the Giz teardown would have revealed the capacitive rear surface or not, but Steve did say we wouldn't be disappointed. Everyone already knows about the front-facing camera and the new design...
     
  2. Revelation78 macrumors 68000

    Revelation78

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    #2
    The back is not made of the same material as the front. There will be no touch sensitive backing.
     
  3. madforrit thread starter macrumors regular

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  4. Hovey macrumors regular

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    #4
    Actually the back would not have to be the same material as the front to be touch sensitive. This could also be a reason for the flat back as opposed to the curved.
     
  5. Tanto macrumors member

    Tanto

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    #5
    The material in the back isn't metal because of the massive amount of interference it caused in testing (if I remember correctly). Either way, using a non-conductive backing material provides the RF energy with a way out since the rest of the interior is obviously metal.

    It's really hard to make a device seem well-built if it's got a plastic backing because plastic tends to flex easily and if it doesn't, it has support bracing behind the surface that eats into the interior space of the device.

    Not to criticize, but I think using the term "glass" is a bit inaccurate since I'm sure that it's a ceramic material that although it does have glass in it, it's only glass-based and not pure glass.

    Although it would be interesting to see a touch-sensitive backing on the new iPhones, I think it would be an absolute nightmare for the engineers to come up with software that can distinguish between you readjusting your grip and a 3-finger swipe or something. Since Apple doesn't put out a new feature unless they've absolutely nailed it, I just don't see this as a possibility.
     
  6. greygray macrumors 68000

    greygray

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    #6
    Could just be plastic/ceramic zirconia material.
     
  7. candan9019 macrumors regular

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    #7
    Probably, but you don't know that. It hasn't been confirmed what exactly it's made out of and besides as others have said it doesn't have to be glass to be touch sensitive.

    I also doubt it is touch sensitive, but only Apple knows if it is at this point.
     
  8. Blorzoga macrumors 68030

    Blorzoga

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    #8
    I actually think the back may be made of solid 18k gold
     
  9. Revelation78 macrumors 68000

    Revelation78

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    #9
    Common sense tells you that the back will not be made of glass. Hard plastic, ceramic, etc...

    No, there will no be touch sense controls on the back either.
     
  10. ogdogg macrumors 6502

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    #10
  11. vizkiz macrumors 6502a

    vizkiz

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    #11
  12. ogdogg macrumors 6502

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    #12
    When's the last time you saw light shining through a ceramic bowl?
     
  13. ChrisGonzales90 macrumors 6502a

    ChrisGonzales90

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    #13
    why would anyone want the back to be touch? I can see a ton of mis touches there
     
  14. vizkiz macrumors 6502a

    vizkiz

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    #14
    Never.
    Actually, most glass bowls are probably ceramic glass, to withstand high temperatures. So, most of the glass cookware in my kitchen.

    Not all cermic is glass-ceramic.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceramic


    I'm pretty sure the one using silicides would be glass-ceramics, and the others wouldn't.


    I see what's going on, we were referencing two different patents.
     
  15. Geckotek macrumors G3

    Geckotek

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    #15
    Wasn't there a thread on this already? (I can't find it)
     
  16. Geckotek macrumors G3

    Geckotek

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    #16
    Their patent is for zirconia.
     
  17. vizkiz macrumors 6502a

    vizkiz

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    #17
    Did you read the patent? It's for zirconia and alumina.
    And I'm pretty sure ceramic zirconia is not glass, that would be ceramic silica/silicide, whatever it's called.
     
  18. neilmacd macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Would be good for scrolling in Safari, just can't see how it would deal with random touches, even specific, complicated gestures could be easily misinterpreted.
     
  19. candan9019 macrumors regular

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    #19
    I completely agree with you, but it's still speculation on our part. Common sense isn't fact.
     

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