Today, Apple was issued U.S Patent No. 8390481 which states Sensing capacitance changes of a housing of an electronic device.
Per the patent – ‘Methods and apparatuses are disclosed that allow measurement of a user’s transaction with the housing of an electronic device. Some embodiments may measure the electrical characteristics of a housing of an electrical device, where the housing is capable of being temporarily deformed by the user’s interaction.
By measuring the electrical characteristics of the housing, such as the housing’s capacitance, the user’s interaction with the housing can be measured in a manner that is independent of the user’s electrical characteristics and/or in a manner that may allow the pressure applied to the housing to be quantified.’
In other words, Apple is hoping to allow you to operate your i(pick one) by using a pressure based mode of input such as squeezing or pressing. Seems the ease of just touching is so passé these days.
So, here is how it proposes to work. This integration would measures the physical and electrical properties of the metal housing to figure out how you are interacting with it.
The sensors within would *ahem* sense, bending or, keeping in context, a change in the housing structure. A processor would be able to interpret the capacitance change to trigger a specific action. It should be noted that this is a simple explanation for how the system would work. We have not discussed how it differentiates direct user input from indirect input – think pocket dialing – or how sensors would be connected to circuit boards that would initiate an alert based on how lightly the pressure is. Plenty of details are sure to come as Apple moves forward with this application.
Patent was filed August 17, 2009
Aleksandar Pance – Saratoga, CA
Nicholas Vincent King – San Jose, CA
Duncan Kerr – San Francisco, CA