New Apple invention would allow for complex, multi-axis haptic feedback

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2016
An Apple patent published on Tuesday suggests interest in a haptic feedback motor that could vibrate in different directions, depending on a device's orientation.




The filing would require the use of two haptic modules, able to vibrate vertically and horizontally respectively, according to documents discovered by AppleInsider. These would be linked by a central control processor.

As needed, the modules would switch roles based on how a person is holding a device. In fact the patent specifically refers to use in portable and wearable devices, suggesting Apple could build the technology into a future iPhone or Apple Watch.

Both the Watch and the iPhone 6s use versions of Apple's "Taptic Engine," intended to provide noticeably different vibrations depending on context. The Apple Watch, for instance, will use a soft "tap" for notifications in order to avoid being obnoxious.

Neither device, however, can vibrate solely in one axis or another, much less change this based on orientation.

The patent was originally submitted in February 2014, and is credited to Douglas Weber, who was once a design manager with Apple's iPhone and Watch teams but left the company in November that year to build specialized coffee machines.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    TurboPGTTurboPGT Posts: 355member
    Two haptic modules...that would require some more internal space. If only Apple were about to remove some outdated components that are taking up internal spa....oh wait.

    iPhone 7? Perhaps.
    califastasleep
  • Reply 2 of 6
    mjhnlmjhnl Posts: 27member
    Wow, would be nice if it comes with the new iPhone 7 with no bezels, A10, in glass fingerprint sensor, groundbreaking camera, stereo speakers and the stunning design. iOS 10 will have some killer features we haven't heard about yet. I'll bet the price will come down too to fit competitive offerings ;-)
  • Reply 3 of 6
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    What's the point of this exactly?

    And he left Apple to make coffee machines?
    mjhnl
  • Reply 4 of 6
    TurboPGTTurboPGT Posts: 355member
    mjhnl said:
    Wow, would be nice if it comes with the new iPhone 7 with no bezels, A10, in glass fingerprint sensor, groundbreaking camera, stereo speakers and the stunning design. iOS 10 will have some killer features we haven't heard about yet. I'll bet the price will come down too to fit competitive offerings ;-)
    Considering no real user outside of fantasy blog world would actually want this, it won't be happening.
    anome
  • Reply 5 of 6
    hodarhodar Posts: 347member
    Hmmm, vibrate on any axis. Seems like an Auto-Drop function
  • Reply 6 of 6
    anomeanome Posts: 1,474member
    TurboPGT said:
    mjhnl said:
    Wow, would be nice if it comes with the new iPhone 7 with no bezels, A10, in glass fingerprint sensor, groundbreaking camera, stereo speakers and the stunning design. iOS 10 will have some killer features we haven't heard about yet. I'll bet the price will come down too to fit competitive offerings ;-)
    Considering no real user outside of fantasy blog world would actually want this, it won't be happening.


    I think the whole "no bezels" thing has just become a knee-jerk reaction at this point. I don't really see the point, and I don't think that Apple are going to eliminate the bezels anytime soon - apart from the technical limitations preventing it, I really don't think Apple will be willing to cut a hole in the screen for the earpiece. (Plus I haven't seen a good idea about what to do with additional screen real estate around the home button.)

    I do think that one of the possibilities of this patent, and the endgame of the whole "Taptic engine" thing is to remove the *physical* home button. Using haptic feedback they could make it feel like there was still a button there, to give the correct placement of the finger over the TouchID sensor amongst other things, just like the Force Touch trackpads feel like they move when you press on them. I don't think the technology is quite ready yet, I suspect it needs to be an order of magnitude smaller to do that properly. Maybe it will be something they do for the 10th anniversary phone next year, but I don't think it will be this year, and next year may still be too soon.

    Rayz2016
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