Apple continues to explore pressure-sensitive touch screens
We know that Apple wasn’t the first to explore capacitive touch screens, but the iPhone did make the technology popular. Over the last couple of years, the iPhone’s multi-touch technology has pioneered a new trend of ways to interact with mobile devices, up to the point of including computers as well. Obviously Apple hasn’t stopped there, and a new patent reveals where the company wants to push next.
Apple’s new patent shows how the company is exploring the use if infrared technology in order to determine pressure sensitivity. This would allow a new trend of commands, where the device will interact with you depending on how much pressure you’ve applied on the display. The method is known as Frustrated Total Internal Reflection, or FTIR. FTIR is a light-based way to detect multitouch, bouncing infrared light off of the touch screen to detect interference from your finger, which when combined with capacitive touch, can deduce force.
As competition gets more intense, it is necessary for Apple to figure out additional ways to differentiate the iPhone. This seems to be a great way to reach that, but it’s hard to predict if it’ll make it to the iPhone 6 this year.