Imagine an Apple iPhone without a home
button. Got the image in your head? Great. Now
how would you navigate from an application to
the home screen? Simple, just give your phone a
little squeeze. Apple received a patent on Tuesday
from the USPTO called “Sensing capacitance
changes of a housing of an electronic device,”
which would allow the user of an Apple iPhone, or
any device really, to control the action of the
device by putting the squeeze on it.
The patent takes the idea of controlling a device
with a touch even further, by using varying
degrees of touch to control certain functions. For
example, you could stop a ringing phone by
squeezing its case hard while a lighter squeeze
could result in something different happening,
say, the lowering or raising of volume. Even
moving your hand rapidly over a keyboard could
create a wave of pressure strong enough to wake
up a sleeping device. And to prevent you from
accidentally setting off a feature with the phone
in your pocket, a sensor determines if the phone
is being held in your hand before the appropriate
pressure is applied.
This might not be the kind of innovation that
fans of Apple have been looking for, but it still is
something that users of many different devices
might find quite useful to have.
“By measuring the electrical characteristics of the
housing, such as the housing’s capacitance, both
before and during user interaction, the user’s
interaction can be sensed in a manner that is
independent of the user’s electrical
characteristics and/or in a manner that may allow
a pressure applied to the housing by the user to
be quantified.”- Apple’s patent

Image Courtesy: Apple Insider



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