Apple Granted an iDevice Gaming Accessories Patent

According to an NPD Group report released a while ago, mobile gaming is one of the fastest growing segments of the digital games market. Therefore, games for mobile devices seem to represent half of all game downloads, having an important impact even on people who have a dedicated console for online gaming.

Virtual gaming controllers do not have the tactile touch that gamers appear to be needing in order to assist them so that they could keep their eyes focused on the game instead of paying attention where the controls are.

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However according to recent news, gamers have reasons to be grateful as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published on Tuesday, another interesting Apple patent, named “Clickable and tactile buttons for a touch surface“, describing a gamepad and joystick for iOS devices.

According to the description that has been made public, there is a wide net for the application of the patent, the method, in which removable buttons mounted to a touch-sensitive surface in order to give users a physical form of feedback being relevant for ATMs or point-of-sale payment devices, as well as gaming.

Therefore, describing accessories that simply stick on the touchscreen of an iPad display and engage the touch-sensitive areas with buttons and a joystick-like device, the new device’s role would be to make the users more comfortable when using their gadgets. In addition, the new invention is able to offer developers a common gamepad/joystick structure so that more games could follow a specific guideline for controller activity.

In accordance with the patent description, it seems that the multiple button attachment structures, or a single button attachment structure which includes more than one button actuation area, can be used with a joystick arrangement in order to provide input to a portable electronic device.

Apple’s button device patent was first filed for in 2008 and credits Stephen Brian Lynch, John Benjamin Filson and Fletcher R. Rothkopf as its inventors.

The “Clickable and tactile buttons for a touch surface“ is just one of the 37 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. officially published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

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