Apple has been granted close to 40 new patents this week. In addition to an innovative system for tracking a moving humanoid form through a 3D map, the roster of patents also includes systems related to haptic feedback and biometric scanning.
One of these interesting systems enables multi-touch haptic feedback. Essentially, the system would allow a touchscreen to vibrate in discreet sections; for example, if a user had two fingers on different parts of the screen, an event could trigger vibration under only one of the fingers. It isn’t clear exactly how such a system could come into play, but one can imagine applications like having the screen indicate through vibration where on a map a user should be heading, for example.
The company was also granted a patent covering covering integrated circuitry related to a device’s lead frame and bezel structure. The system seems to allow for the integration of fingerprint scanning into an exposed bezel, suggesting that Apple may be looking to develop technology that would bring Touch ID fingerprint scanning to the outer edges of a device’s chassis. We know from patent applications filed last summer that Apple is also exploring the idea of turning the logo found on the back of the iPhone into a fingerprint scanner, and even turning a device’s touchscreen into a scanner itself, so it appears that the company continues to investigate how it can alter its standard Touch ID setup, probably with an eye to increasing screen space.
Of course, Apple isn’t commenting on its pursuits here, and the company has been known to experiment widely in its R&D without necessarily committing to any specific technological systems. But these patents do suggest an increasing, or at least ongoing, interest in advancing device-user interaction.
Source: Patently Apple