Apple exploring possibilities of wrap-around displays, touch-sensitive bezels for future i...

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Apple is contemplating going beyond the edge-to-edge OLED on the iPhone X and giving future devices wrap-around displays, and also thinking about adding touch-sensitive controls on an iPhone bezel.

apple-wraparounddisplay


To achieve a wrap-around display, the company could theoretically use a transparent housing matched with a flexible panel, according to a patent published via the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday. The concept was originally submitted in 2016.

The panel would be able to display visuals "at any portion of the transparent housing," Apple says. More significantlly, Apple suggests using incorporating two user interfaces -- one for the central portion of the housing, and a second for "at least one" of the peripheral areas.

The technology would not only allow more of a device to be used for user controls, but eliminate the need for fixed-use buttons and switches that can't be accessed by third-party apps. Apple has already done away with a physical home button on the iPhone X, allowing that space to be used for almost any purpose needed by apps or iOS.

A second Apple patent, originally submitted in 2015, depicts an iPad-like device that still has bezels, but would let people tap on them to control onscreen functions. The screen could signal when a particular part of the bezel is active and what it does.

In images, Apple suggests that users could scroll up or down, access additional menus, or even turn a device on and off, possibly adding context-sensitive controls to the side of an iPhone like the Touch Bar does on the Mac. A combination of this technology, plus wireless charging could allow for an iPhone with no buttons, and no cables at all. Should this device come to pass, the only penetrations to the case would be for speakers and microphones.

apple-touchbezel


Apple has already explored similar concepts in the past, many of which have not yet been seen in a product. The company applies for patents for many technologies, with only a small fraction reaching the marketplace.

The company may also be able to leapfrog more elaborate handheld displays with its rumored "T288" headset. The device could support both augmented and virtual reality, and control through a mix of Siri, head gestures, and touch. That product may come out as soon as 2020.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 3,439member
    Doubt it. I think Apple is just exploring ideas for "some" possible use in a future product, and people assume it's for the iPhone.

    A curved screen is terrible on a device that is operated by your fingers. You want a flat surface so all your gestures are consistent across the entire screen. A curved screen also sucks for displaying content (unless they've figured out a way to make the screen emit the exact same color/brightness from different angles so content at the edge of the screen looks identical to content in the middle).
    SpamSandwichtmayrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    nunzynunzy Posts: 332member
    Apple would never make something like this. Instead, they are getting a patent to prevent Samsung from doing it. Apple uses the patent system in ways it was never thought of. They are very very clever. That's why they make such high profits.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 3 of 20
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 547member
    Form follows function Apple, don't forget this. 
  • Reply 4 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,607member
    nunzy said:
    Apple would never make something like this. Instead, they are getting a patent to prevent Samsung from doing it. Apple uses the patent system in ways it was never thought of. They are very very clever. That's why they make such high profits.
    That would be abuse of the patent system and not something I think Apple would encourage. So I say it isn't likely that's the intent.
    nunzymuthuk_vanalingamjony0
  • Reply 5 of 20
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,216member
    nunzy said:
    Apple would never make something like this. Instead, they are getting a patent to prevent Samsung from doing it. Apple uses the patent system in ways it was never thought of. They are very very clever. That's why they make such high profits.
    The idea is nice and think it could work. Parts of the base idea have already been used on phones though.

    This is over three years old:

    https://www.phonearena.com/news/Manta-7X-details-revealed--massive-battery-absolutely-no-hardware-buttons_id65484

    Huawei/Honor are rumoured to have volume rockers replaced by touch sensors in the works: 

    https://tech.thaivisa.com/huawei-p20-leaked-new-images-show-resigned-phone-no-physical-buttons/27360/

    And the Honor Magic from a couple of years ago also had sensors in the bezels.

    I'd like Apple to give it a go too.
    edited May 29 nunzymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 6 of 20
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 3,439member
    avon b7 said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple would never make something like this. Instead, they are getting a patent to prevent Samsung from doing it. Apple uses the patent system in ways it was never thought of. They are very very clever. That's why they make such high profits.
    The idea is nice and think it could work. Parts of the base idea have already been used on phones though.

    This is over three years old:

    https://www.phonearena.com/news/Manta-7X-details-revealed--massive-battery-absolutely-no-hardware-buttons_id65484

    Huawei/Honor are rumoured to have volume rockers replaced by touch sensors in the works: 

    https://tech.thaivisa.com/huawei-p20-leaked-new-images-show-resigned-phone-no-physical-buttons/27360/

    And the Honor Magic from a couple of years ago also had sensors in the bezels.

    I'd like Apple to give it a go too.

    Having no buttons is a stupid idea. How are you going to perform a reset if there's a problem with your device? Are they going to add a tiny pinhole you can insert a paper clip in order to force a reset? How are you going to adjust volume if your phone is in a case? Are they going to leave huge cutouts so that your fingers can reach the "touch sensors"?

    I don't think people have really thought this through - they're just looking for another feature to add to differentiate themselves from all the other umpteen Android commodity devices out there, without any thought as to whether it actually improves things for the user.
    nunzyairnerdStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 20
    nunzynunzy Posts: 332member
    avon b7 said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple would never make something like this. Instead, they are getting a patent to prevent Samsung from doing it. Apple uses the patent system in ways it was never thought of. They are very very clever. That's why they make such high profits.
    The idea is nice and think it could work. Parts of the base idea have already been used on phones though.

    This is over three years old:

    https://www.phonearena.com/news/Manta-7X-details-revealed--massive-battery-absolutely-no-hardware-buttons_id65484

    Huawei/Honor are rumoured to have volume rockers replaced by touch sensors in the works: 

    https://tech.thaivisa.com/huawei-p20-leaked-new-images-show-resigned-phone-no-physical-buttons/27360/

    And the Honor Magic from a couple of years ago also had sensors in the bezels.

    I'd like Apple to give it a go too.

    Having no buttons is a stupid idea. How are you going to perform a reset if there's a problem with your device? Are they going to add a tiny pinhole you can insert a paper clip in order to force a reset? How are you going to adjust volume if your phone is in a case? Are they going to leave huge cutouts so that your fingers can reach the "touch sensors"?

    I don't think people have really thought this through - they're just looking for another feature to add to differentiate themselves from all the other umpteen Android commodity devices out there, without any thought as to whether it actually improves things for the user.
    Exactly. Apple has no plans to do this themselves, and yet they patented it to prevent others from doing it. That is very clever.
  • Reply 8 of 20
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 514member
    Doubt it. I think Apple is just exploring ideas for "some" possible use in a future product, and people assume it's for the iPhone.

    A curved screen is terrible on a device that is operated by your fingers. You want a flat surface so all your gestures are consistent across the entire screen. A curved screen also sucks for displaying content (unless they've figured out a way to make the screen emit the exact same color/brightness from different angles so content at the edge of the screen looks identical to content in the middle).
    I'm with you.   Now that would make a cool AppleTv Remote, though.
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 20
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 514member
    avon b7 said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple would never make something like this. Instead, they are getting a patent to prevent Samsung from doing it. Apple uses the patent system in ways it was never thought of. They are very very clever. That's why they make such high profits.
    The idea is nice and think it could work. Parts of the base idea have already been used on phones though.

    This is over three years old:

    https://www.phonearena.com/news/Manta-7X-details-revealed--massive-battery-absolutely-no-hardware-buttons_id65484

    Huawei/Honor are rumoured to have volume rockers replaced by touch sensors in the works: 

    https://tech.thaivisa.com/huawei-p20-leaked-new-images-show-resigned-phone-no-physical-buttons/27360/

    And the Honor Magic from a couple of years ago also had sensors in the bezels.

    I'd like Apple to give it a go too.

    Having no buttons is a stupid idea. How are you going to perform a reset if there's a problem with your device? Are they going to add a tiny pinhole you can insert a paper clip in order to force a reset? How are you going to adjust volume if your phone is in a case? Are they going to leave huge cutouts so that your fingers can reach the "touch sensors"?

    I don't think people have really thought this through - they're just looking for another feature to add to differentiate themselves from all the other umpteen Android commodity devices out there, without any thought as to whether it actually improves things for the user.
    A device like this would definitely need a good case too.  A corner is the safest place currently for a phone in a case to land.  That doesn't look to have any corners, so more of a case is needed.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 20
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,665member

    A device with all screen on all sides will eventually exists (probably with a small "notch" on both sides). Doesn't mean it's active at all time though.
    The battery usage of having screen everywhere at all time is not practical for now.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 20
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,216member
    avon b7 said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple would never make something like this. Instead, they are getting a patent to prevent Samsung from doing it. Apple uses the patent system in ways it was never thought of. They are very very clever. That's why they make such high profits.
    The idea is nice and think it could work. Parts of the base idea have already been used on phones though.

    This is over three years old:

    https://www.phonearena.com/news/Manta-7X-details-revealed--massive-battery-absolutely-no-hardware-buttons_id65484

    Huawei/Honor are rumoured to have volume rockers replaced by touch sensors in the works: 

    https://tech.thaivisa.com/huawei-p20-leaked-new-images-show-resigned-phone-no-physical-buttons/27360/

    And the Honor Magic from a couple of years ago also had sensors in the bezels.

    I'd like Apple to give it a go too.

    Having no buttons is a stupid idea. How are you going to perform a reset if there's a problem with your device? Are they going to add a tiny pinhole you can insert a paper clip in order to force a reset? How are you going to adjust volume if your phone is in a case? Are they going to leave huge cutouts so that your fingers can reach the "touch sensors"?

    I don't think people have really thought this through - they're just looking for another feature to add to differentiate themselves from all the other umpteen Android commodity devices out there, without any thought as to whether it actually improves things for the user.
    My current phone has a rear placed fingerprint sensor that supports gestures. It is in a case and has cutouts. Even with the case on, access to the scanner and its gestures works perfectly. A lateral cutout would be an easy solution.

    That is for the volume rocker elimination.

    The Huawei prototype had a power button but it would be easy to eliminate using something like squeeze technology or another depressable area on the frame. In a worst case scenario a pinhole solution would work if manufacturers decide to go down that route. I am sure they will go buttonless (physical SIM cards will also disappear too) but probably without the last resort pinhole option.
    edited May 29
  • Reply 12 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,607member
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple would never make something like this. Instead, they are getting a patent to prevent Samsung from doing it. Apple uses the patent system in ways it was never thought of. They are very very clever. That's why they make such high profits.
    The idea is nice and think it could work. Parts of the base idea have already been used on phones though.

    This is over three years old:

    https://www.phonearena.com/news/Manta-7X-details-revealed--massive-battery-absolutely-no-hardware-buttons_id65484

    Huawei/Honor are rumoured to have volume rockers replaced by touch sensors in the works: 

    https://tech.thaivisa.com/huawei-p20-leaked-new-images-show-resigned-phone-no-physical-buttons/27360/

    And the Honor Magic from a couple of years ago also had sensors in the bezels.

    I'd like Apple to give it a go too.

    Having no buttons is a stupid idea. How are you going to perform a reset if there's a problem with your device? Are they going to add a tiny pinhole you can insert a paper clip in order to force a reset? How are you going to adjust volume if your phone is in a case? Are they going to leave huge cutouts so that your fingers can reach the "touch sensors"?

    I don't think people have really thought this through - they're just looking for another feature to add to differentiate themselves from all the other umpteen Android commodity devices out there, without any thought as to whether it actually improves things for the user.
    My current phone has a rear placed fingerprint sensor that supports gestures. It is in a case and has cutouts. Even with the case on, access to the scanner and its gestures works perfectly. A lateral cutout would be an easy solution.

    That is for the volume rocker elimination.

    The Huawei prototype had a power button but it would be easy to eliminate using something like squeeze technology or another depressable area on the frame. In a worst case scenario a pinhole solution would work if manufacturers decide to go down that route. I am sure they will go buttonless (physical SIM cards will also disappear too) but probably without the last resort pinhole option.
    Gesture support on fingerprint sensors is not all that uncommon. 
  • Reply 13 of 20
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,216member
    gatorguy said:
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple would never make something like this. Instead, they are getting a patent to prevent Samsung from doing it. Apple uses the patent system in ways it was never thought of. They are very very clever. That's why they make such high profits.
    The idea is nice and think it could work. Parts of the base idea have already been used on phones though.

    This is over three years old:

    https://www.phonearena.com/news/Manta-7X-details-revealed--massive-battery-absolutely-no-hardware-buttons_id65484

    Huawei/Honor are rumoured to have volume rockers replaced by touch sensors in the works: 

    https://tech.thaivisa.com/huawei-p20-leaked-new-images-show-resigned-phone-no-physical-buttons/27360/

    And the Honor Magic from a couple of years ago also had sensors in the bezels.

    I'd like Apple to give it a go too.

    Having no buttons is a stupid idea. How are you going to perform a reset if there's a problem with your device? Are they going to add a tiny pinhole you can insert a paper clip in order to force a reset? How are you going to adjust volume if your phone is in a case? Are they going to leave huge cutouts so that your fingers can reach the "touch sensors"?

    I don't think people have really thought this through - they're just looking for another feature to add to differentiate themselves from all the other umpteen Android commodity devices out there, without any thought as to whether it actually improves things for the user.
    My current phone has a rear placed fingerprint sensor that supports gestures. It is in a case and has cutouts. Even with the case on, access to the scanner and its gestures works perfectly. A lateral cutout would be an easy solution.

    That is for the volume rocker elimination.

    The Huawei prototype had a power button but it would be easy to eliminate using something like squeeze technology or another depressable area on the frame. In a worst case scenario a pinhole solution would work if manufacturers decide to go down that route. I am sure they will go buttonless (physical SIM cards will also disappear too) but probably without the last resort pinhole option.
    Gesture support on fingerprint sensors is not all that uncommon. 
    Exactly. After being used on Huawei phones for years, I believe it was put forward for inclusion in Android. It is difficult for me to live without.

    Like double tapping the screen with a knuckle for screenshots. 
  • Reply 14 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,607member
    avon b7 said:
    gatorguy said:
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple would never make something like this. Instead, they are getting a patent to prevent Samsung from doing it. Apple uses the patent system in ways it was never thought of. They are very very clever. That's why they make such high profits.
    The idea is nice and think it could work. Parts of the base idea have already been used on phones though.

    This is over three years old:

    https://www.phonearena.com/news/Manta-7X-details-revealed--massive-battery-absolutely-no-hardware-buttons_id65484

    Huawei/Honor are rumoured to have volume rockers replaced by touch sensors in the works: 

    https://tech.thaivisa.com/huawei-p20-leaked-new-images-show-resigned-phone-no-physical-buttons/27360/

    And the Honor Magic from a couple of years ago also had sensors in the bezels.

    I'd like Apple to give it a go too.

    Having no buttons is a stupid idea. How are you going to perform a reset if there's a problem with your device? Are they going to add a tiny pinhole you can insert a paper clip in order to force a reset? How are you going to adjust volume if your phone is in a case? Are they going to leave huge cutouts so that your fingers can reach the "touch sensors"?

    I don't think people have really thought this through - they're just looking for another feature to add to differentiate themselves from all the other umpteen Android commodity devices out there, without any thought as to whether it actually improves things for the user.
    My current phone has a rear placed fingerprint sensor that supports gestures. It is in a case and has cutouts. Even with the case on, access to the scanner and its gestures works perfectly. A lateral cutout would be an easy solution.

    That is for the volume rocker elimination.

    The Huawei prototype had a power button but it would be easy to eliminate using something like squeeze technology or another depressable area on the frame. In a worst case scenario a pinhole solution would work if manufacturers decide to go down that route. I am sure they will go buttonless (physical SIM cards will also disappear too) but probably without the last resort pinhole option.
    Gesture support on fingerprint sensors is not all that uncommon. 
    Exactly. After being used on Huawei phones for years, I believe it was put forward for inclusion in Android. It is difficult for me to live without.

    Like double tapping the screen with a knuckle for screenshots. 
    This old burner Pixel I bought, the original one from 2016, has fingerprint gestures. 
  • Reply 15 of 20
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,266member
    gatorguy said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple would never make something like this. Instead, they are getting a patent to prevent Samsung from doing it. Apple uses the patent system in ways it was never thought of. They are very very clever. That's why they make such high profits.
    That would be abuse of the patent system and not something I think Apple would encourage. So I say it isn't likely that's the intent.
    That's not an abuse of the system, that's exactly how the system is supposed to work. A person who holds a patent isn't legally obligated to do anything with it.
    nunzyStrangeDays
  • Reply 16 of 20
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,787member
    gatorguy said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple would never make something like this. Instead, they are getting a patent to prevent Samsung from doing it. Apple uses the patent system in ways it was never thought of. They are very very clever. That's why they make such high profits.
    That would be abuse of the patent system and not something I think Apple would encourage. So I say it isn't likely that's the intent.
    Corporations patent things they don’t plan on using but don’t want others to use all the time. That’s why there are so many patent portfolios and why failed companies are often valued only for these patents. I seem to recall Google purchasing a failed cell phone company and then selling it for a loss, but there were those who said they bought it just for patent portfolios. 
    nunzycornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 20
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,787member

    gatorguy said:
    avon b7 said:
    gatorguy said:
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple would never make something like this. Instead, they are getting a patent to prevent Samsung from doing it. Apple uses the patent system in ways it was never thought of. They are very very clever. That's why they make such high profits.
    The idea is nice and think it could work. Parts of the base idea have already been used on phones though.

    This is over three years old:

    https://www.phonearena.com/news/Manta-7X-details-revealed--massive-battery-absolutely-no-hardware-buttons_id65484

    Huawei/Honor are rumoured to have volume rockers replaced by touch sensors in the works: 

    https://tech.thaivisa.com/huawei-p20-leaked-new-images-show-resigned-phone-no-physical-buttons/27360/

    And the Honor Magic from a couple of years ago also had sensors in the bezels.

    I'd like Apple to give it a go too.

    Having no buttons is a stupid idea. How are you going to perform a reset if there's a problem with your device? Are they going to add a tiny pinhole you can insert a paper clip in order to force a reset? How are you going to adjust volume if your phone is in a case? Are they going to leave huge cutouts so that your fingers can reach the "touch sensors"?

    I don't think people have really thought this through - they're just looking for another feature to add to differentiate themselves from all the other umpteen Android commodity devices out there, without any thought as to whether it actually improves things for the user.
    My current phone has a rear placed fingerprint sensor that supports gestures. It is in a case and has cutouts. Even with the case on, access to the scanner and its gestures works perfectly. A lateral cutout would be an easy solution.

    That is for the volume rocker elimination.

    The Huawei prototype had a power button but it would be easy to eliminate using something like squeeze technology or another depressable area on the frame. In a worst case scenario a pinhole solution would work if manufacturers decide to go down that route. I am sure they will go buttonless (physical SIM cards will also disappear too) but probably without the last resort pinhole option.
    Gesture support on fingerprint sensors is not all that uncommon. 
    Exactly. After being used on Huawei phones for years, I believe it was put forward for inclusion in Android. It is difficult for me to live without.

    Like double tapping the screen with a knuckle for screenshots. 
    This old burner Pixel I bought, the original one from 2016, has fingerprint gestures. 
    As does the 2016 iphone 7 with its home button sensor. 
    edited May 29 watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 20
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 847member
    So old the drawings still include the old dock connector.
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,607member
    gatorguy said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple would never make something like this. Instead, they are getting a patent to prevent Samsung from doing it. Apple uses the patent system in ways it was never thought of. They are very very clever. That's why they make such high profits.
    That would be abuse of the patent system and not something I think Apple would encourage. So I say it isn't likely that's the intent.
    That's not an abuse of the system, that's exactly how the system is supposed to work. A person who holds a patent isn't legally obligated to do anything with it.
    Spam, of course it's abusing  the intent of patents. I have zero doubt that you know why the patent system exists at all. It was never intended to block innovation
    edited May 29 nunzy
  • Reply 20 of 20
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,373member
    I suppose they have to patent it, just in case... but that's awful!
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