New Apple patent application allows swipes starting or ending off-screen to be counted as an input

New Apple patent application allows swipes starting or ending off-screen to be counted as an input
Apple has filed a patent application with the USPTO for "Gesture and touch input detection through force sensing". This technology is for a touchscreen, similar to the one found on the Apple iPhone, but adds three or four force sensors underneath the surface of the glass. These can be placed in areas of the touchscreen that users can't see, such as underneath the bezel area.

Each sensor can determine varying pressure values. In other words, the sensors can determine how hard the user is pushing down on the glass. And when the user presses down on one sensor, the other sensors go off as though they were touched with less force than the sensor that actually received the input. That helps the sensors determine the point of origin. The system can even know when a swipe or gesture started off-screen. That is important because currently, a swipe left or right from the edge of the screen might not register

Deploying the sensors on off-screen buttons can allow more of the the screen to be used to display things. This patent differs from one revealed back in November that dealt with force sensors being placed under the glass of a touchscreen. That patent covered a method for determining how hard the screen was being touched, while this patent covers a system for determining where that touch is coming from.

source: USPTO via AppleInsider



1. nothingmuch

Posts: 201; Member since: May 03, 2013

Now that would be cool if the force sensor was sensitive enough to be a letter scale

6. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

U know who will bust a nut for force sensing on iPhones ... Darkjedii

2. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

done before

3. Sauce unregistered

Yup, on my old iPhone back on iOS 2. Yawn

5. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010


10. Sauce unregistered

Educate yourself

11. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

The iPhone doesn't have pressure sensor

12. Sauce unregistered

I understand that, but there was/is a very similar method to this. Instead of pressure, there are/is duration and speed, used for the exact purpose. Obviously pressure is better, and obviously the iPhone does not posses this feature, but the reason of the feature has been around a while but in a different form. Anyway, f*ck Apple and their patenting, but it is what it is, unfortuneately.

13. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Actually IOS (at least younger than 6 ) did not have any ways of measuring pressure at all, many aren't even apples implementatuoins, but developers workaround using multi touch, so measure the thickness of the finger when Touching it. A pressure sensor can be found on the notes Spen, as it was developed to measure how much stregh is applied to it, this patent just moves the location of the pressure sensor to the device itself


Posts: 110; Member since: Jun 26, 2013

Agreed if they win this patent it will be a mochary of the patent system. Every device maker is improving on its own devices with sensors. To file a patent to say I want to be allowed to dictate where other device manufactures can place a sensor in a device and their usefulness is dumb. I agree with nothingmuch also. If it does something never recorded like recognize letters then ok. But as far as the amount of pressure_ No... Other products have that technology already. A good example is electric keboards the harder you hit a key the louder the note

8. stealthd unregistered

That's not a good example, it's an awful one. Pressure sensitivity on keyboards is not prior art for a specific kind of pressure sensitivity on a touch screen, along with other features that make the patent unique.

7. Caralho

Posts: 119; Member since: Jun 18, 2012

Stupid. This is like trying to patent the rubber tire after it had been in use for a couple of decades.

9. stealthd unregistered

So where exactly has this been "in use for a couple decades" then?

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.