Apple Patents Hover-Sensing Multi-Touch Display

Apple Patents Hover-Sensing Multi-Touch Display

On Tuesday, Apple was granted a patent by USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) that showcase the design of multi-touch display technology to beyond the screen.

Similar to 3D touch, but measures input in an opposite direction along the z-axis relative to an iPhone’s screen.

“The use of one or more proximity sensors in combination with one or more touch sensors in a multi-touch panel to detect the presence of a finger, body part or other object and control or trigger one or more functions in accordance with an “image” of touch provided by the sensor outputs is disclosed,” states the patent titled ‘Proximity and multi-touch sensor detection and demodulation‘.

This picture describes the use of a multi-touch, hover-sensing panel similar to a laptop's trackpad.
IMAGE: UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE

This patent will help apple for more friendly solution developed for his products like iPhone and other portable device. This technology provides clearer picture of touch inputs by delivering hover gesture detection.

The patent document explains that by having this LED-photodiode combo embedded in every pixel of the screen, combined with the proximity sensor to ensure the right distance from the screen, fingers hovering can be detected.

But there already is a system for 3D touch, which has infiltrated every pixel space. In order to use real estate and power efficiently, Apple might combine the two functions into a single system.

This is a sketch showing the use of an LED and photodiode to detect a finger's presences without surface contact.
IMAGE: UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE

One or more proximity sensors 400 can be used to implement the function of ‘pushing’ virtual buttons appearing on the touch panel and trigger functions without actually requiring contact with the touch panel,” the patent application says.

But like most of the patents, we might not see this technology in action, but there’s also a chance it could be incorporated into desktop displays and even mice.

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A freelance Technical Writer, worked as a Software and Web Developer, a Product Support Specialist in World Wide Web, experienced in Digital Marketing and a Technical Journalist in computer publishing industry.