Apple files for patent on haptic feedback system

Apple files for patent on haptic feedback system
You might recall that when all of those so-called "Apple iPhone-killers" were launched in 2007-2009, one of the features that they al had which the iPhone didn't was haptic feedback. From the LG Voyager to the Samsung Instinct and the LG Dare, all of these featurephones touted that feedback as a way to improve the accuracy of typing on a virtual QWERTY. And now, it seems that Apple has filed a patent for its own haptic feedback system for the Apple iPhone and Apple iPad.

Apple had been loath to add the haptic feeback to its keyboard since it considered its virtual QWERTY the best on the market and in no need of an aid. Either Apple has changed its mind about haptic feedback, or else it was laying low until it had a version that it feels will blow away the competition. Not only does the application reveal that Apple has apparently changed its mind about haptic feedback,, it also describes the manufacturing process. It all begins with an array of piezoelectric actuators placed under the iPhone display. These are the sensors that were used in the BlackBerry Storm 2 to make the SurePress clicking screen more responsive. In the case of the haptic feedback on the iPhone, these actuators allow you to feel localized vibrations as your finger moves around the glass. The actuators could be in a grid under the glass or in the form of strands stretched across the screen.

Apple's filing also discusses measuring how hard your touch is, figuring out your true intent and responding with just the right amount of vibration. The application also adds the steps necessary to mass produce a device with this form of haptic feedback on board. It should be interesting to see how much Apple's haptic feedback differs from the versions that LG, Samsung, RIM and HTC have loaded on their handsets for years. Most Android models still offer haptic feedback as an option when typing.

source: USPTO via UnwiredView


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32 Comments

1. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

If Apple gets a haptic feedback patent it better be the very very specific version of it and not given generic version of it as haptic feedback has been in phones for years now and would border on the ridiculous! That saying the haptic feedbacks mentioned in the blackberry storms were terrible and caused so many faults and problems

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31312; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Man andro I hated that feature on the storm. Ho rri ble!!!

22. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

They were a nightmare for so many customers!

27. stealthd unregistered

Yes, that's how patents work. Thanks for stating the obvious.

2. zaryab_hussain77

Posts: 104; Member since: Jun 30, 2011

apple u r stupid

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 31312; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Why, and how are they stupid?

3. darktranquillity

Posts: 285; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

So i guess from now on if a non apple user apply the same amount of pressure on phone screen as a apple user intends to apply, he will be screwed with litigations for patent violation?

4. PimpStrong

Posts: 310; Member since: Jul 25, 2011

Boy I thought Apple was patent trolling again. Trying to get royalties.

5. buggerrer

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

seriously?

6. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

ARE...YOU...F^&%^*&...SERIOUS??? WTF is their problem? If they're selling so well why are they so afraid of other companies...Only reason would be because they know they're losing...

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 31312; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

It seems all they've done is come out with their wn unique system for it. If that's the case, then they should patent it.

31. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

did u even read what u said? so u think if a company is ahead, they should not look towards any other technologies as that would show they are losing? seriously? and this patent appears to show haptic feedback in a different way than anyone else has doneā€¦ so i dont think its a general patent as many have rushed to the conclusion of

7. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Just one more example of Apple taking an idea from the competition and implementing it while accusing the competition of stealing everything from them. I have no problem with the former part, just the latter. If Apple weren't so litigous i wouldn't have an issue with them improving their devices. And haptic feedback is an improvement. People who try the keyboards on Android phones constantly comment on how much they like the vibrating response.

11. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

I used to love it but now I just keep it off.

16. iamcc

Posts: 1319; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

I actually like it but as long as it's mild vibration. I don't like the ones that are too strong.

23. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

I generally leave it off aswell,its a bit of a battery hog over time if you are a heavy texter also. Haptic feedbacks are fine,its the noisy click click noises that people leave turned on on theirs phones when they press the keys thats really frustrating

28. htc_prep

Posts: 303; Member since: Oct 09, 2009

This seems like Apples way of beating Microsoft and their idea of creating a virtual keyboard that vibrates in the form of the letter or create an actual combo physical and vibration keyboard to the punch rather than monopolize that feature. Just my 2 cents.

8. bragzter

Posts: 53; Member since: Feb 21, 2012

Apple is playing catch up with the rest of the industry and are trying to make it look like they're doing it better. They had better not get this, because I already smell injunction lawsuits coming against every single competitor.

9. tluv00

Posts: 134; Member since: Oct 18, 2007

iOS Keyboard spellcheck sucks.

10. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

are any of you folks commenting CEO's of cell phone manufacturing companies? if not, why are yall so MAD about this??? at most, apple will be receiving royalties from mobile phones who have it... yall act like they are gonna BAN all non apple devices that use it... COME ON people!

18. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

"at most, apple will be receiving royalties from mobile phones who have it" yeah, that's exactly the problem, dumbass.. if apple get this and start suing others, we as customers will have to pay more. for what? for this stupid litigation thing! if apple wants to patent it, go ahead, but make-so-effing-sure that the patent is very specific, and not just "haptic feedback when user touches the screen".. and don't start suing everybody else who uses different method of vibration feedback.. gosh, i think i will see the adult toy companies being sued as well..

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 31312; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Motorola so itso facto google has more patents than apple. So y wouldn't apple apply for a patent if they've developed their own unique haptic system. What wrong with that people?

19. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

i don't have anything against it as long as the patent is for that specific unique method.. and apple better not suing others who have different methods.. what i can see is apple will get this specific patent, but will start suing everybody else who got haptic feedback on their devices..

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 31312; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

All auto makers have damping system technology, however Chevy developed a specific system for the Corvette zr1. They patented it,and now rake in millions from Ferrari,lambo, and nascar for it's use. Apple would b stupid not patent something if they think it's worth it to do it.

20. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

the difference is Chevy didn't patent it and start suing everybody, but they OFFER the technology, and others buy it.. and that's how apple should do it.. not blindly patenting anything that cross their mind and start suing everybody else..

29. htc_prep

Posts: 303; Member since: Oct 09, 2009

It's yet to be seen to be seen they will try to get sue happy. Patents dont act retroactively so phones produced before this is enacted are exempt and as long as phones aren't using this exact delivery method future haptic feedback is safe. Products services laws and ideas are always improved upon. Someone had to refine haptic feed back. That just is part of life and evolution.

21. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

Like i always said, i don't really hate apple products, i just hate how they behave like a predator in their business.. it's like, "there should only be one tech company in the world, that's apple, the rest must either bow, or disappear.." and that's tyranny i must say..

24. skymitch89

Posts: 1453; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

And hopefully they don't get it because then basically every smartphone ever made that has haptic feedback will be in violation, and some feature phones as well.

25. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1777; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Ah yes I loved my Instinct back in the day. Pretty stupid they weren't the first to use it but want to patent it like they were.

26. drtech

Posts: 135; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

So many dumb trolls. Apple isn't trying to patent haptic feedback. They're trying to patent their own unique method of using it.

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