Apple Patents Hint at Tactile Feedback, Fingerprint ID for Future iPhones

Recent Apple patents hint at new features that could appear in future iPhones.041535-haptic-297x300 Most interesting is a patent detailing haptic tactile feedback for iPhone — that is, the ability for users to feel the virtual keys they’re pressing on the touchscreen.

The idea of haptic tactile feedback is such: The iPhone’s vibrations would simulate the vibrations felt when typing on a physical keyboard, so when you’re typing you can “feel” the edge of each key. This would eliminate the need to look at the screen while typing.

Another patent explains fingerprint identification on the iPhone. Not in the traditional sense to secure your iPhone (although it could probably be used for that, too) but rather fingerprint IDing as an input method to play music and navigate the iPhone menu. For example, a fingerprint from the index finger would trigger the Play and Stop buttons in the iPod. And a fingerprint from the middle finger would trigger fast-forwarding in the iPod. Pretty neat idea, huh?

A third patent covers how a radio-frequency identification (RFID) reader would work on iPhone. RFID tags are generally used for tracking items such as library books; thus, an RFID reader would more likely have business applications. Apple suggests using an RFID antenna placed in the touch sensor panel.



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