Apple has filed for a couple of patents with the USPTO for Heuristic based improvements that do a better job of representing digital handwriting
on a mobile device and improve touch input
to hone in on what the user wants, ignoring extraneous touches. The digital handwriting patent was originally filed in 2011 and uses a set of rules to capture digital handwriting on a touchscreen. The rules determine if two points on a touchscreen are to be connected by a line segment or curve. If it is a curve, another set of rules determines the characteristics of the curve. The result is a better reproduction of digital handwriting on as touchscreen.
Some third party apps allow for handwriting capture on the Apple iPhone
If you've ever used the digital signature capture to claim a package by FedEx, for example, you can see that your signature is not reproduced smoothly. That's because the unit employed by delivery firms does not have the processing power to do so. Using the set of rules, Apple uses what processing power it does have on a mobile device to fill in the space between two points and can even make a curve in a smooth manner depending on the distance between the two points. Velocity and direction are used and measured together to determine if it will be a straight line or a curve between two points. The process will work for a fingertip signature
or one using a stylus.
The second patent application deals with ignoring touch inputs outside of an "active region". In other words, users resting their palm on a touchscreen when using handwriting as an input method can accidentally set off unwanted "touch events". By defining an "active region" any touch outside of that region can be ignored. Lines, like a virtual notebook, can be used to indicate where the active region is. One the writing process is stopped, the writing can be saved for further use.
Both patents could easily find their way inside a future version of iOS
Both patents were originally filed in April 2011.
source: USPTO (1
) via AppleInsider
The two patents deal with digital handwriting capture (L) and extraneous touch inputs