New Apple patent allows users to control a device by squeezing the case

New Apple patent allows users to control a device by squeezing the case
Imagine an Apple iPhone without a home button. Got the image in your head? Great. Now how would you navigate from an application to the home screen? Simple, just give your phone a little squeeze. Apple received a patent on Tuesday from the USPTO  called "Sensing capacitance changes of a housing of an electronic device," which would allow the user of an Apple iPhone, or any device really, to control the action of the device by putting the squeeze on it.

The patent takes the idea of controlling a device with a touch even further, by using varying degrees of touch to control certain functions. For example, you could stop a ringing phone by squeezing its case hard while a lighter squeeze could result in something different happening, say, the lowering or raising of volume. Even moving your hand rapidly over a keyboard could create a wave of pressure strong enough to wake up a sleeping device. And to prevent you from accidentally setting off a feature with the phone in your pocket, a sensor determines if the phone is being held in your hand before the appropriate pressure is applied.

This might not be the kind of innovation that fans of Apple have been looking for, but it still is something that users of many different devices might find quite useful to have.

source: USPTO, CNET via AppleInsider



2. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Goldmine of innovation.

7. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

Are you serious because i hope you arent as this is absolutely pointless for example who would go oh wait a second im just going to squeeze my $600 'premium' device to get back to the home one!

16. MikeG77

Posts: 426; Member since: Nov 24, 2008

Leave it to Apple to over complicate a simple task like going back to the home screen.

22. SkurtMcGurt

Posts: 21; Member since: Dec 18, 2012

This has to be the coolest thing to happen to cell phones in a long time! - said no one ever.

23. AnTuTu

Posts: 1613; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

New Apple patent allows users to not buy an iDevice lolzzzzz

26. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

if you'd had a "/s" behind that, you'd have gotten a thumbs up from me.

30. AnTuTu

Posts: 1613; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

If you were front of me I'd have slapped you :p (no offense mate) hahahha

32. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

man something must be really really wrong with u Mxyzptik.

34. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Squeezing and Smooching all the time is good for perverts :D

39. jsdechavez

Posts: 799; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

I wonder what Siri will say when you keep squeezing.... I'm coming?!!! haha

4. zig8100

Posts: 243; Member since: Dec 13, 2012

Squeeze until it bends.

6. bragzter

Posts: 53; Member since: Feb 21, 2012

Wait a minute, how did Apple get that? I've seen that technology in action already. This is not original. That patent office have a bunch of idiots working there


Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Money talks, they will pay whatever it takes

10. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 2010

Thank you!! It's a soft spot on the case with what looks like a button underneath. They didn't even make it pressure sensitive or anything like that...

14. Contreramanjaro

Posts: 153; Member since: Dec 04, 2011

The last time I saw this I think it was a DoCoMo thing.

37. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

It's US PTO == US Patent Troll's Office :)

13. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

so now their saying u can squeeze your phone or they will sue

15. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

Um... not sure if that's a good thing if the frame was so easily bent...

17. Joker

Posts: 24; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

iFans: I squeezed my phone (from the two edges) to receive calls, but calls keep getting dropped Apple: You squeezing it wrong!!!

18. TheLolGuy

Posts: 483; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

Guys go youtube search something called 'Grip UI' This doesn't impress me. They're probably just patenting all they can just because. Don't expect to see this happen.

19. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Watch them try to sue Samsung for the physically double tapping the top of the phone to reach the top of the page thing on the GS3.

20. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

Oh boy, the last time a Ifan try this squeezy-thingy, they lost reception (Antenna Gate part II)

36. rsxl5

Posts: 65; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

They did squeeze it wrong :P

21. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Wasn't this already done by another company? Why is it, Apple gets to patent other people's ideas without penalty? I hate patent trolls, but I'm glad Apple is starting to lose some of these cases. Maybe the patent office hasn't gotten the memo yet.

28. timtimity

Posts: 196; Member since: Aug 13, 2012

24. yyuu1000

Posts: 260; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

And the price is $99.99

25. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

So they patented their own "deathgrip"? It's controlling the phone, after all: makes it stop working as a phone!

27. timtimity

Posts: 196; Member since: Aug 13, 2012

Wonder if the warranty will cover breaking/cracking your phone because you squeezed it too tightly.

29. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

phonearena should show complaint letters to Phone manufactures. they'd be really popular.

31. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Is that nokia device on the left part of the second patent picture? HAHA

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.