Patent suggests Apple's haptic feedback may reshape your screen

By on May 4, 2012, 6:30 PM

RIM, long-time purveyor of fine QWERTY phones, has finally decided it's time to abandon physical keyboards. With that in mind, it appears we're entering a point of no return for such input devices as they continue to steadily disappear from the mobile universe. So, what's a keyboard enthusiast to do? if this patent is any indication, Apple may feel it has the answer.

Haptic technology is a way for touchscreen manufacturers to deliver physical feedback when a user touches a button, tries to type using an on-screen keyboard or otherwise interacts with the images generated on their touch-screen display. When it comes to having no physical keyboard, haptic feedback seems like the best available compromise but it's difficult to call it a substitute. Thus far, the haptics found on most smartphones are little more than a quick vibration -- merely an industry platitude, honestly.

Apple's solution intends to use a combination of flexible OLED display technology and piezoelectric actuators that would actually alter the contour of your screen. It would also take into account sensor data to determine usage context, providing situationally-appropriate feedback.

For example, a device featuring such technology could raise the surface area of each letter for an on-screen keyboard while entering input into a text field. This would give any software-based input instrument a distinct feel and contour for each key or button. When the user is finished typing, the surface of the screen would return its normal, planar state.

While companies patent all sorts of crazy things, it was just a couple of months ago that Apple patented the early workings of this idea. However, the latest patent filing improves upon the design and serves as evidence that Apple continues to investigate haptic feedback for its future, touch-enabled devices.




User Comments: 16

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hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

RIM, long-time purveyor of fine QWERTY phones, has finally decided it's time to abandon physical keyboards.

Not true:

[link]

m4a4 m4a4 said:

RIM, long-time purveyor of fine QWERTY phones, has finally decided it's time to abandon physical keyboards.

Not true:

[link]

Hahaha, was just about to say the same. They never said that they are going to drop the BB keyboard experience. Sure the first device that they will launch is touch only, but next year is when the physical keyboard devices should show.

Anyways... unless they can have a similar experience like a physical keyboard, I will continue to see most touchscreens as toys...

Guest said:

I look at my main computer with a full sized keyboard as a toy. A really fast and impressive toy that I can also use for work if the need arises. Same thing with tablets and phones. I suppose it just depends on how you define work.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Abandon physical keyboards? :/

I have a hard time typing on touch screen phones lol

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Just when I've finally mastered mediocrity with a keyboard, they're going to take it away? Doesn't really seem fair, no does it?

Haptic feedback......? Is that anything like tantric feedback.... ?

Guest said:

Apple is patenting OLED+piezoelectric actuators really ???

Since they don't produce any of these I don't see how would anyone grant them these patents ?

It's like Chevrolet buying a brand new model of BMW equipped it with Bridgestone tires call it a patent and sell it under the Chevrolet branding, BMW+Bridgestone=Chevrolet. lmfao

Apple just made the same thing they added Samsung's OLED + somebody's else piezoelectric technology and called it an Apple patent then sell it to the sheep's lol they do this every time.

They say let's take some Samsung+some LG+some Foxconn then patent that combination and call it an Apple product. lol

Wikipedia quote:

"Piezoelectricity was discovered in 1880"

Guest said:

Apple is patenting OLED+piezoelectric actuators really ???

Since they don't produce any of these I don't see how would anyone grant them these patents ?

It's like Chevrolet buying a brand new model of BMW equipped it with Bridgestone tires call it a patent and sell it under the Chevrolet branding, BMW+Bridgestone=Chevrolet. lmfao

Apple just made the same thing they added Samsung's OLED + somebody's else piezoelectric technology and called it an Apple patent then sell it to the sheep's lol they do this every time.

They say let's take some Samsung+some LG+some Foxconn then patent that combination and call it an Apple product. lol

Wikipedia quote:

"Piezoelectricity was discovered in 1880"

Ithryl said:

Writing anything on my Galaxy Nexus' touch screen makes me wanna kill myself. Wish there were phones with hardware keyboards to choose from.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Apple is patenting OLED+piezoelectric actuators really ???

Since they don't produce any of these I don't see how would anyone grant them these patents ?

It's like Chevrolet buying a brand new model of BMW equipped it with Bridgestone tires call it a patent and sell it under the Chevrolet branding, BMW+Bridgestone=Chevrolet. lmfao

Apple just made the same thing they added Samsung's OLED + somebody's else piezoelectric technology and called it an Apple patent then sell it to the sheep's lol they do this every time.

They say let's take some Samsung+some LG+some Foxconn then patent that combination and call it an Apple product. lol

Wikipedia quote:

Man, I don't often jump into news things without coming equipped with links (these guys will tear you apart). But that statement is just a bunch of horsehockey. Everything you said is crap. Well no, its not crap, but I'd like you to compare and contrast your statements with anyone else that has more than 10% marketshare, ok lets say 5%, I'll give you bonus points if you can do it for some one with 10%.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

It's like Chevrolet buying a brand new model of BMW equipped it with Bridgestone tires call it a patent and sell it under the Chevrolet branding, BMW+Bridgestone=Chevrolet.
There's one interesting truth here, but it doesn't apply to computers. But yet, it's relevant and frightening all the same.

I was told by my motorcycle repairman, that manufacturers are trying to patent tire sizes, and supplying them with new bikes so you can't buy an after market replacement for 17 years. Obviously, this is an anti competitive business practice. And Japanese makers replace parts every year, even on the same model bike, so they can't be traded in the used market as readily. It also becomes less profitable for aftermarket manufacturers to offer replacement parts, due to their limited applications. Fact it, the Chevy small block took the same valve cover gaskets for 20 years. Those were the good old days.

Apple has been involved with it for years, and it's only fairly recently, that they've come to accept the laws regarding universal PnP. When they do run into it, they try to sidestep it it by venturing other devices where it can't be applied.

So yeah, other makers do it as well, but I suppose everybody's just annoyed because of Apple's cavalier way they approach the issue.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

^Oh god. You believe everything you hear?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

^Oh god. You believe everything you hear?

With respect to parts for motorcycles, mostly yes. The net has created an environment where small dealers can't compete, and the fact that Japanese motorcycle manufacturers rapidly change models, while in the meantime charging exorbitant prices for their parts, I can attest to first hand.

I can walk into the corner auto parts store and grab parts, (in some cases), for a 30 year old Firebird. While my 20 year old Honda Nighthawk, (other than the oil filter I can buy at Walmart), is a guaranteed order me, every time. The gas cap on the Honda is, I believe $57.00....!

Was that your question?

More on topic, guest quoted,

Peizoelectricity was discovered in 1880
I'd like to point out that fire was discovered perhaps as long as a million years ago, but we didn't learn to send a man to the moon with it until the 1960's

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

You didn't answer it at all. I don't remember reading any articles on motorcycle part buying here. You must be lost old man.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

You didn't answer it at all. I don't remember reading any articles on motorcycle part buying here. You must be lost old man.
Not lost really. Just hanging around the park in old clothes, annoying people.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

It's working. Your comments are useless and don't contribute to anything. I can see you excelling in something like old bike repair, feeding pigeons and tarot card reading.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

It's working. Your comments are useless and don't contribute to anything. I can see you excelling in something like old bike repair, feeding pigeons and tarot card reading.
It seems they're contagious as well.

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