A new Apple patent filled in at the US Patent and Trademark Office reveals the fact that Apple is investigating “pressable” flexible displays for its future iOS devices. The UI interaction will gain another dimension since users can depress as a new mode of input.
The “Embedded force measurement” filling describes a system in which a force-detection sensor layer is used on a flexible display, permitting a user to press down the screen as a secondary form of input.
At this time, the multitouch displays of Apple’s iOS devices work in a two-dimensional way, which creates a proper environment thanks to gestures like swiping or tapping. The patent application is related to a third dimension of the multitouch screen, which takes the form of motion on the x-axis of the display.
As related in the embodiment outlined within the patent application, the user interface of the flexible display receives a “touch force input”, which is released by an exerted pressure. To make things clear, when a user pushes down on the respective flexible display, the device will detect the pressure, and it will offer a proper response.
Despite the fact that any display technology can be used to create the pressable flexible display, the patent calls for OLED display as being the right choice. This might be related to the format’s ability to be easily fabricated using bendable plastic substrates.
Apple also mentioned that flexible areas of the display could be limited to specific high-activity zones where users are most likely to interact with the user interface while less-used areas will remain less flexible in order to hold the structural part.
Basically, the pressable flexible technology can be used to detect the amount of pressure is being applied to display in order to determine the result of the user’s activity. In order to ensure consistency, the threshold for capacitance and resistance as they apply measurement layer can be reset daily. This is perfect for extended use even if the flexible layer becomes slightly deformed during time.
Regardless the fact that Apple did not offer a clear view concerning the device that would dispose of such flexible technology, apparently, the input system would be ideal for small form factor devices. Apple’s future iWatch can represent a suitable environment for the pressable flexible display. However, this is not the only suitable device. The technology could also be used for Apple’s iOS touch devices.