Latest in Apple

Image credit:

Apple granted patent for a proximity-sensing touchscreen

Nilay Patel
January 27, 2010
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Never say the USPTO doesn't have impeccable timing: on the eve of Apple's tablet launch (and on the very day we finally realized that we've been looking at the same set of Apple patent images in loosely-related filings since 2004), the Patent Office has granted Apple some 13 patents, including #7,653,883 for a proximity-sensing multitouch screen. That's right, granted -- as in, Apple can file a lawsuit if others infringe these ideas now. (Usually we just look at patent applications, which have no legal weight.) The proximity-sensing screen is obviously the most interesting of the bunch, since it's actually related to those same Apple multitouch patents we've been seeing forever -- it describes a touchscreen that can detect when an object (like a finger or a stylus) is close to the screen but not touching it, and then offer up context-dependent controls based on what it detects. Imagine seeing window controls when your hand gets close to the top of the window -- it solves the problem of your finger covering the display. Of course, we have no way of knowing whether it'll be in whatever device is announced tomorrow -- but it's certainly interesting. There's also a fun little design patent granted on the external design of the third-gen iPod nano, and then 11 other patents covering things like color management, bandwidth detection, and, uh, "Method and Apparatus for Selectively Switching IC Ports to Card Slots Through the use of Three Switches per Switch Group." Riveting, we know. Check the full breakdown at the read link.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Animal Crossing fans get real about the fictional NookPhone

Animal Crossing fans get real about the fictional NookPhone

View
Facebook envisions using holographics for super-slim VR glasses

Facebook envisions using holographics for super-slim VR glasses

View
100 million people watch YouTube on TVs each month

100 million people watch YouTube on TVs each month

View
Amazon-owned Ring is preparing its first smart light bulb

Amazon-owned Ring is preparing its first smart light bulb

View
PlayStation is the latest to join the Facebook ad boycott

PlayStation is the latest to join the Facebook ad boycott

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr