Apple Patent Application Suggests Hover Sensing

Next step, Marty McFly and the Hoverboard! No, not actually, this is a patent application for what appears to be "Touch and hover sensing." What the what? That sounds pretty fancy. In the app, they speak of a sort of capacitive sensor array that not only responds to signals that are touching the surface, but hovering on either side of it – YES, both above and behind! They mention that the shield that would be behind (aka this would be the non-screen side of the iPad,) could be enhanced by an AC ground shield that would be attached to the back. What would you even do back there? I don't know, put your hand into a virtual reality screen making it look like a robot hand? Hey! Good idea!

Apple, look at the awesome idea I just had. Ah... probably you have better ideas already. What will they do with technology such as this? What sort of games and helpful apps could be made when you can work with your screen by placing your hand inside an electrical field that extends above the screen? This is just totally wacky, I am telling you. Note the following clip from the application:

A capacitive sensor array can be driven with electrical signals, such as alternating current (AC) signals, to generate electric fields that extend outward from the sensor array through a touch surface to detect a touch on the touch surface or an object hovering over the touch surface of a touch screen device, for example. The electric field can also extend behind the sensor array in the opposite direction from the touch surface, which is typically an internal space of the touch screen device. An AC ground shield may be used to enhance the hover sensing capability of the sensor array. The AC ground shield can be positioned behind the sensor array and can be stimulated with signals having the same waveform as the signals driving the sensor array. As a result, the electric field extending outward from the sensor array can be concentrated. In this way, for example, the hover sensing capability of the sensor array may be improved.

Then take a peek at the full PDF here: Apple-hover-touch-ed.pdf

ALSO NOTE: Remember when they filed a similar patent application way back in 2008? Take a peek at that right over here: Apple Hover Patent Tracks Non-Touch Gestures

[Via Unwired View]