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  • Apple Working on Thinner, Brighter Mobile Touch Screens


    A recent Apple patent application shows the company's work on a new generation of touchscreens that may one day lead to slimmer, brighter screens on computers and phones. The new technology, as revealed on the Patently Apple website, would eliminate the additional layer of capacitive material above the LCD screen, making each pixel itself actually touch-sensitive, and allowing the display itself to be brighter and somewhat thinner. Also, the technology would permit users to scroll by manipulating the edges of the display.

    On the surface of a touchscreen, there's a layer of nearly transparent material which has a grid of capacitors on it. Each element stores a very small electrical charge that's reduced when your finger comes in contact with it. The iPhone screen uses mutual capacitance as a way of separating and identifying multiple points of contact. This enables the multi-touch interface software to figure out the relative location and movement of multiple taps, gestures, and swipes.

    Apple's new technology involves something called "dual-function capacitive elements." These components would both display colored light as well as providing capacitive sensing, allowing the same element to show a pixel and report touches on that screen element. According to the application, this could mean a "display with integrated touch sensing capability may be manufactured using fewer parts and/or processing steps, and the display itself may be thinner and brighter."

    Speculation that this patent specifically has to do with the forthcoming (still vapor) Apple tablet is somewhat diminished by drawings in the application that show a "mobile telephone" and a "personal computer." Other recent patents revealed by the Patently Apple site show that Apple is working on a range of touch technologies, such as the recently released Magic Mouse, and it seems clear that innovative uses of multi-touch are a big part of the company's future plans for all its products.

    image via Patently Apple
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Working on Thinner, Brighter Mobile Touch Screens started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. battlecrushr's Avatar
      battlecrushr -
      Nice
    1. playboii's Avatar
      playboii -
      hopefully this means they can put a bigger battery in!
    1. allanes5's Avatar
      allanes5 -
      Yep!!
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      I want a MBPAir!!!
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      ^Why a mbair?
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      I dunno, I just decided I wanted one

      And I said MacBook Pro Air
    1. mudrock1000's Avatar
      mudrock1000 -
      I freaking swear, if my ipod gets any smaller, I will start dropping it.
      I know it looks cool thin, but at this rate no one will be able to hold it.
    1. GhStRdR2k's Avatar
      GhStRdR2k -
      if they wanted to make them smaller and thinner they should start using a OLED display. It would save alot on battery life as well.
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      Innovative ways to use multi-touch are a big part of my future plans as well. Rawr

      Quote Originally Posted by GhStRdR2k View Post
      if they wanted to make them smaller and thinner they should start using a OLED display. It would save alot on battery life as well.
      How I understand it, the patent deals with a shortcut so that they can integrate touch capabilities into the manufacturing process of the screen, without the need for additional layers -- So really the type of screen isn't the issue and can still be OLED. Because, let's face it, OLED is the future of all screened devices.
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      So an even smaller iPod shuffle?

      I kid.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      I want transparent oleds right now!!!!! Ever since thx 1138/minority report/matrix-rev/avatar. All in sequential order. 1970/2002/2003/2009
    1. rockie156's Avatar
      rockie156 -
      So now if you drop your touch/phone and it cracks, not only will the touch screen in that area stop working - the lights will too!

      But seriously, my moms phone broke and the lights were fine, she put a screen cover on and now the only difference is you can see the cracks... Make it thinner = more vulnerable = more casing


      anyone know a good protective case for the next gen? I be apple will be selling them by the millions.
    1. Fallguy's Avatar
      Fallguy -
      True , thinner will mean more fragile .
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Thinner and full use of the front please
    1. mosesh's Avatar
      mosesh -
      sweeet
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      sweet