Apple patent application details pressure-sensitive iPhone touchscreen

“The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published an Apple patent describing a device with built-in pressure sensors that work in concert with touchscreen input to provide enhanced UI navigation,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“Apple’s ‘Gesture and touch input detection through force sensing’ patent application details a device that implements the usual multitouch displays seen in the iPhone and iPad, but adds at least three force sensors underneath the screen’s surface,” Campbell reports. “By deploying the pressure-sensitive components around corners of the device, or other known areas, the sensors can be translated into a secondary mode of input.”

“In November, Apple was granted a patent for a similar system in which force sensors were disposed beneath an iPhone’s surface glass,” Campbell reports. “That property, however, focused on input based on varying degrees of pressure rather than selective location.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. I welcome this news!

    I’d like the Mask, or Palm rest capability, especially in a tablet form factor. As it is, too often I make unintended touches to my screens especially from my thumbs.

    The use of masks, would preclude the need for large bezels.

  2. Sounds useful in GarageBand, where a light touch causes an different response from a heavy touch (like on a real piano). Or in a graphics app, where the effect is different, based on how much pressure you are putting on the surface. And there are obvious uses in gaming input.

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