Apple touch patent suggests no buttons in future iPhone and iPad

 In Apple

apple touch patent

Apple’s been at the patent pot again, this time showing plans for hardware devices including sensors throughout the device – presumably with the aim of removing the need for physical hardware buttons. Could we be saying goodbye to our beloved home buttons?

The theory is pretty simple. Place multiple sensors under a device’s touch screen, around its bezel or on the back of the device and the area can be used as a button. This opens all sorts of possibilities. Want to increase the volume on an iPhone? Swipe across the speaker. Want to go Home? Swipe backwards on the bottom of the device. Remember the Palm Pre? Yup, just like that.

The sensors could even be used to identify different users, depending on their hand image, common movements and whether they’re left or right handed. They could even remove the need for an orientation lock-switch, linking screen rotation to the way that the tablet or handset is being held.

If this all sounds familiar it’s because it is. Apple has been rumored to be working on this kind of tech for a good while now, and more recently even Sony has been said to want to do something very similar with the next version of its popular(ish) PSP gaming machine.

I can’t help but think this is one of those patents companies put out there just so nobody else can use it, but if I’m wrong, we’re in for some very interesting hardware from the guys in California.

[SlashGear]

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Showing 3 comments
  • Xiao A
    Reply

    This is a good thing for iphone, I think few iphone users need press key. it is small and uncomfortable! if you want to type long article ,you can use a PC , if you like to use phone with keyboard , you can choice a blackberry. iphone’s multitouch key is the best.But for the ipad, i think adding some buttons is necessary, we can regard it both as a simply player carried by me anywhere anytime and a laptop which cheaper a lot than a really laptop !! a ha ~ i think my ipad will be more powerful combining the keyboard an my Aneesoft ipad video covnerter.

    • Oliver Haslam
      Reply

      As with so many patents, what Apple will actually do with the tech is anyone’s guess! 🙂

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