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  • Future Devices Will Have Touch-Sensitive Cases

    In a new patent, Apple has revealed plans for new devices without any buttons at all: using technologies like capacitive sensing, resistive sensing, and surface acoustic wave sensing, the device's case would respond to touch and hand gestures. "The touch sensing devices may for example be selected from touch panels, touch screens or touch sensitive housings," according to the patent, entitled "Hand held electronic device with multiple touch sensing devices". You'd be able to control an iPhone with the same hand you hold it in, and secure it to your unique hand print.

    Slashgear took note of the patent, which was released yesterday. On larger devices like the iPad, gripping one side of the device would disable the sensors so that your free hand could operate the sensors on the other side of the case. On an iPhone or iPod touch, the entire back case would be touch-sensitive, so that you could use single-finger or chorded gestures to control the device, allowing you to use it one-handed.

    The touch sensors would also generate a pixelated image of your hand as you hold the device, and would be able to identify you by your handprint. The device would then load a custom profile associated with that handprint, with the particular gestures you use for different actions. The sensors would be able to determine if you are right- or left-handed, and whether the device is being held at 0, 90, 180 and 270 degrees, thus eliminating the need for an orientation lock button.

    The main goal here seems to be removing buttons in order to make the screen bigger. As the patent notes, "the device may include a limited number of physical buttons and switches," but "it is generally desirable to keep the number limited on the front surface so that the available space of the device can be saved for the display." So it looks like the Home button may soon be on its way out.

    Source: Slashgear
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Future Devices Will Have Touch-Sensitive Cases started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 22 Comments
    1. Nickaroni22's Avatar
      Nickaroni22 -
      Sounds pretty cool!
    1. H3ATEDSS's Avatar
      H3ATEDSS -
      Wow! 2nd gen iPad?!?!?
    1. frail1's Avatar
      frail1 -
      i could have sworn this was reported on at least a year or two ago here :-/ now i feel like i'm losing it.
    1. plcrules's Avatar
      plcrules -
      Quote Originally Posted by frail1 View Post
      i could have sworn this was reported on at least a year or two ago here :-/ now i feel like i'm losing it.

      No i think it was a few months ago
    1. wolverinemarky's Avatar
      wolverinemarky -
      Y don't they just make the phone bigger instead of removing the home button. Would be nice to see a 4.5in screen but I think apple loves this form factor so the only way we will get a bigger screen would be to remove the home button, will be interesting to see if we ever see these patents used instead of just filed

      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
    1. MPS3's Avatar
      MPS3 -
      apple just loves to file patens
      just incase some one was thinking of it
      so then later in the day they can have a lawsute over nothing
    1. risingkazuya05's Avatar
      risingkazuya05 -
      Try this:

      Activator from Cydia

      Although it's only for gestures on your Touch Screen and Shake Features, it's better than wasting your Home and Sleep Buttons
    1. Be Expressive's Avatar
      Be Expressive -
      Ha. Figures
    1. zoso10's Avatar
      zoso10 -
      Yeah I've heard these rumors before some time ago.
      I could see this being annoying what if you don't hold it conventionally or lay it on a table; there's also the possibility of accidental touching or gestures.
    1. Daerid's Avatar
      Daerid -
      I would be interested in seeing this implemented, especially in the iPad. Not sure it would do well with me on the iPhone. I have large hands.

      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
    1. zeroskater61's Avatar
      zeroskater61 -
      Nice I bigger screen... Sounds pretty cool...
      But who doesn't use there iPhone with one hand?? Only time you really need both is either if ur playing a game on ur device or texting... And that's some times on the texting I sometimes even use one hand.

      Also one more thing if apple does decide to remove the home button wouldn't that mean bad news for the JB community??

      I mean take redsnow for example. In order to JB using redsnow you have to put your device in DFU Mode(recovery mode) but if there's no home button, how would we be able to JB are devices using redsnow or any other tool that would require you to put your device in DFU?
    1. DarkDragonAn's Avatar
      DarkDragonAn -
      The Palm Pre have that technology already and but it dont do the finger print reading that is cool.
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      I'd like to see this...
    1. Aliquippakid's Avatar
      Aliquippakid -
      That all sounds fine and dandy but I think if they want more room for bigger screen that bad we would see a home button implemented on the side of the device before completely disowning it. Only time will tell I suppose
    1. zozodouce's Avatar
      zozodouce -
      i hope they put to good use in our next device.
    1. brbortscheller's Avatar
      brbortscheller -
      That would be nice, but i like the home button and sleep/wake and volume buttons. They're easy to operate
    1. ALIEN1974's Avatar
      ALIEN1974 -
      But why Apple patent something that SONY invented?

      Quote Originally Posted by MPS3 View Post
      apple just loves to file patens
      just incase some one was thinking of it
      so then later in the day they can have a lawsute over nothing
      SONY invented this
      Don't know why Apple is patenting it
    1. NakedFaerie's Avatar
      NakedFaerie -
      Thats all good but it also eliminates the use of protective cases.
      I would rather have it safe from damage than use a button on the back of it.
    1. GoldenTequila's Avatar
      GoldenTequila -
      I personally very doubt the "no button" part. I mean, if it's true, it would not be very clever. That would make it very difficult to trouble-shoot when/if the device malfunctions. Right now, we can hard-reset using the buttons, but can you imagine if you didn't have that option?

      Of course, I can see that Apple may be thinking they could make more money that way because people would have no choice but to go to Apple to fix any issues.
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ALIEN1974 View Post
      But why Apple patent something that SONY invented?

      SONY invented this
      Don't know why Apple is patenting it
      I am curious also because I thought rumors were afloat that the next version of PSP was looking at touch sensative backing.