Apple Insider spotted the patent. According to the site, “Originally imagined as a solution to make devices more aesthetically pleasing by removing buttons and keys, the patent goes on to cover a wide variety of use scenarios where input through a touchscreen may be difficult or inaccurate. For example, when a user has already registered a touch event on a common capacitive touchscreen, the device is incapable of recording additional input until the a finger is lifted from the screen. In another case, sweat or other contaminants can compromise the accuracy of a touch display by lowering the device’s ability to detect a user’s capacitance or inductance.
“As noted by the patent language, a pressure-based form of input such as squeezing, pressing, or otherwise deforming a device’s metal housing could prove useful in some situations.”
According to the patent summary, “Embodiments are disclosed that allow measurement of a user’s interaction with the housing of an electronic device. Some embodiments may measure a change in the electrical characteristics of a housing of an electrical device when the housing is temporarily stressed, and thus at least slightly deformed, by the user’s interaction with the housing. By measuring the electrical characteristics of the housing, such as the housing’s capacitance, both before and during user interaction, the user’s interaction can be sensed in a manner that is independent of the user’s electrical characteristics and/or in a manner that may allow a pressure applied to the housing by the user to be quantified.”
Unfortunately, Apple is yet to announce if it is planning to use this squeeze tech. Like a lot of its patents, we may never see it in action.
Do find squeezable iPhones and iPads intriguing? Let us know through a comment below.