According to AppleInsider reported on March 22nd, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted apple a patent that can change the shape and configuration of dynamic display of the portable device, may lay the foundation for the real tactile user experience.
Apple got the patent that can change the shape of the user interface, code named 9600070, covering an innovative hardware solutions, consumer electronics devices can dynamically change the shape, to better meet the needs of users.
The patent specifically mentioned, such as the iPhone screen user interface, through the integration of the bottom of the screen can push or pull the deformable surface of the mechanical and electrical components, can provide a different touch.
In some implementations, the state of the device depends on the particular user interface. For example, the screen area may be raised or sink, button may display in the calculator application; map application may make some display regional processes, highlighting the possible path; music application may manipulate music playback screen, on behalf of the control function of the arrow symbol display.
The technology described in the patent can make virtual assets materialized, thereby enhancing the function. In addition to enhance the tactile experience, can change the shape of the screen will benefit users with visual impairments. The technology could also be used to control the device without looking at the display, such as the device in the user's pocket.
The screen can change the shape, require one or more configurable node on the screen These nodes are arranged in a matrix shape, acting on the extension matrix or display form consistent with the user interface shape, pattern generation and texture, highlight the user interface elements, provide tactile feedback and other functions.
The patent details include a variety of mechanical brakes, including electromechanical pistons to nickel titanium alloys or piezoelectric crystals. Although the piston type brake may be easier to manufacture, it is possible to provide a more precise control of the size of the deformation material system that responds to heat, electricity, magnetism, or other stimuli.
With unique properties, the deformation of the brake will be deformed when stimulated. According to the material, direction and stimulation, these components will occur stretching, protrusion, elongated deformation, pushing the surface of flexible display. The independent stimulation causes the brake to have the opposite deformation.
In another embodiment, the brake will tilt, rotate, or change the position of the screen after stimulation.
Each implementation uses a variety of brakes to cooperate to produce deformation above or below the surface of the device. Acceptable deformations include height, width, length, direction, structure, layout, texture, pattern, 3D shape, and other changes.
Other implementations allow the integration of deformation devices into other hardware solutions, such as MacBook's touch pad or iPod touch interface. In addition to the virtual buttons and user interface, the brake system can also be used to create the 3D effect on the display.
t is worth noting that the larger screen surface of this patent can seem to apply to display the user interface buttons and application icons, more advanced system based on the patent, some day in the future can achieve pixel level resolution. Apple may also use a highly variable brake to create a dynamic undulating surface.
Taking into account the patent "age", the application time is 2008, apple is unlikely to use this technology in the near future in the commodity. But the notion of Apple's efforts to keep up with other user interfaces, in fact, has never stopped since the first generation of Mac.