In 2010 Apple revealed that they were experimenting with new features for a future iteration of their magic mouse that would include gesture profiles such as tilt, tap, nudge, scoop and slide. The invention also covered force sensors and more. Again in 2012 Apple tweaked their invention so that a future version of the Magic Mouse could process combinations of kinematical inputs such as force and velocity. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals yet further tweaks have been added to a future version of their Magic Mouse which includes inertial sensors. The hybrid sensor system could also apply to future MacBooks.
Apple states that touch-sensitive panels can be used as an input device to control the motion of a cursor or other navigational object on a computer display screen. One common type of touch-sensitive panel is a touch pad and the other is the surface of a Magic Mouse.
However, various problems are associated with conventional input devices. For example, most, if not all, conventional input devices are inadequate in tracking both large and fine motions. For example, inertial sensing-based input devices typically track large ranges of motion well (e.g., moving a cursor across the length of a display screen), but not fine ranges of motions. In contrast, touch-sensitive pads typically track fine ranges of motions well, but not large ranges of motion. For example, moving a cursor from one end of the display screen to the other end may require a user to swipe his or her finger across a touch pad multiple times before the cursor moves to the other end of the display screen.
Apple's latest Magic Mouse related patent sets out to correct these problems with a hybrid solution consisting of inertial and touch sensors.
Apple's patent FIG. 3 is a flow diagram of a hybrid inertial and touch sensing process for Magic Mouse and/or a MacBook Trackpad in accordance with various embodiments of the invention.
Apple credits Farshid Hashimi as the sole inventor patent application 20130176242 which was originally filed in Q4 2012.
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