Future iPhones could be “squeezable,” as Apple has filed for a patent (number 20180164166). In the patent filing, the tech giant says that input mechanisms such as buttons, keys, and external input devices require a lot of space on an electronic device.
What’s more, such input mechanisms may complicate the electronic device and/or the aesthetic appearance of the gadget. Apple’s solution: include one or more processing units that receive and interpret data regarding the strain sensed by the sensor to determine one or more user inputs that correspond to the force applied to the deformable housing wall.
Here’s the summary of the patent: “force sensing compliant enclosure for an electronic device may include at least one deformable housing wall. At least one strain concentration portion may be located on the deformable housing wall where strain caused by application of a force that deforms the deformable housing wall is greater than at other portions of the deformable housing wall.
“The strain concentrating portion may have a second thickness that is thinner than other portions of the deformable housing wall. One or more sensors may be positioned in the strain concentration portion and may sense strain caused by the application of the force that deforms the deformable housing wall.”
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.
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