Apple recently announced a new patent award: the use of light to support the gesture-based interaction in touchpads.
The patent, called “Illuminated Touchpad” enables the implementation of feedback mechanisms to react according to the users’ touch. By illuminating the thouchpad surface, the device can suggest users some gestures and guide their finger movements. The color and brightness of the light can be adapted, according to the touch pressure or directions.
Both multitouch and touchpads can benefit from this patent, improving and innovating the user interaction.
According to the patent application:
Touch pads typically include an opaque touch panel, a controller and a software driver. The touch panel registers touch events and sends these signals to the controller. The controller processes these signals and sends the data to the computer system. The software driver translates the touch events into computer events.
Although touch pads work well, improvements to their form feel and functionality are desired. By way of example, it may be desirable to provide visual stimuli at the touch pad so that a user can better operate the touch pad. For example, the visual stimuli may be used (among others) to alert a user when the touch pad is registering a touch, alert a user where the touch is occurring on the touch pad, provide feedback related to the touch event, indicate the state of the touch pad, and/or the like.
This article is based on the original publication of Apple Insider. Further information can be accessed online in their webpage.
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