In Apple's never-ending journey of innovation, the company has been granted two new patents. The first patent involves a "touch and hover" display panel that can compensate for signal drift. The new patent may mean that future Apple touchscreen devices will be more accurate and easier to use. On the other hand, the second patent is for a heart rate monitor that can be integrated into a mobile device.
Apple's new patent for at "touch and hover signal drift compensation" display panel indicates a new type of screen that can differentiate and identify whether a user's finger is touching a screen or simply hovering above it. The patent is identified under the U.S. Patent No. 8,614,693.
While existing Apple devices like the iPhone and the iPad have very sensitive touch controls, the new patent points to the inclusion of hover capabilities possibly in the near future. This will allow users to interact with their Apple devices without actually touching the screen.
The new display will be able to identify objects such as fingers or the stylus hovering slightly above the screen. The new panel will use a number of internal components to allow this type of functionality. However, no details have been released as of yet regarding how future versions of iOS will utilize the new functionalities.
A hover sensing system works by taking advantage of an electrical field generated by the device. The field extends to an area near the proximity of the screen and once certain objects pass through the field, the distortions in the field can be detected and analyzed by the device.
Apple's second patent for a new heart rate monitor is identified under U.S. Patent No. 8,615,90, which indicates a "seamlessly embedded heart rate monitor." This type of sensor may be integrated directly onto future Apple devices and can add heart rate sensing features to new devices. The new patent may have applications in sports as well as in medicine and may result in the creation of a slew of new apps that can take advantage of the feature.