When it comes to technology related patents, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is among the top companies in the world in terms of sheer volume. Obviously, this makes good sense for Cupertino since the company is always being targeted by its competition. In other words, keeping its technology protected is a big deal.
Earlier today, we dug up a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office covering technology that we could see in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices in the near future.
The patent is entitled: Embedded Force Measurement
In other words, Apple may be looking to add a new dimension of input to its devices. This would fit in nicely with the way that its current devices work, with swiping and tapping.
Still don’t understand what Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is hoping to accomplish with this patent? Let’s take a closer look at the abstract for a better idea:
“Disclosed embodiments relate to a force detection system that detects force exerted on a flexible display based upon changes in resistance and/or capacitance. In one embodiment, a method includes measuring a baseline comprising a baseline resistance or a baseline capacitance or both of a force measurement layer disposed within or overlaid on the display panel. The method further includes detecting a change in the baseline resistance or the baseline capacitance or both and calculating a change location where the change in the baseline resistance or the baseline capacitance or both occurred. The method also includes calculating a magnitude of the change in the baseline resistance or the baseline capacitance or both.”
While that may not sound simple to you, it is safe to say that if the technology reaches the market that it will be easy to use. You will not have to think twice about how it can enhance your user experience.
Apple continues on in the patent, looking for ways to explain how the technology could be put to good use. This leads to an exampled based around the popular game by Apple, GarageBand:
“Turning now to a more detailed discussion of how a GUI 38 of the handheld device 30 may interact with the magnitude of touch inputs, FIG. 3 illustrates the handheld device 36 running a music creation application, such as GarageBand by Apple Inc. that uses magnitude of touch inputs. As previously discussed, the flexible display 12 provides flexible regions 44 that enable enhanced flexibility of the flexible display 12. As previously discussed, the flexible regions 44 may be placed anywhere on the flexible display 12. The GUI 38 may provide one or more virtual instruments (e.g., a piano 50 and/or a drum 52). As a user touches the keys 54 of the piano 50 or drumsticks 56A and/or 56 of the drum 52, the handheld device 30 may provide a visual and/or audio indication of a note (e.g., 58A, 58B, 58C, and/or 58D) being played.”
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is hoping to add more functionality to future devices with this technology. Whether or not it actually comes to fruition is anybody’s guess.
The patent was originally filed for on November 29, 2011. The inventors are listed as Brian Lynch, Benjamin Rappoport, Fletcher Rothkopf, Paul Drzaic, and Scott Myers.
Visit the next page for an image of the technology: