Late last month we posted a report titled "Microsoft considers a new Splittable Xbox Controller for Surface Tablet Game Play," and therein noted that the smartest approach to gaming controls on a tablet actually came by way of Apple's cool patent about backside touch controls for the iPad. Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple this patent. With Apple bringing their new gaming "Metal" technology to iOS 8 next month, we're bound to see console quality gaming for the first time coming to iDevices like the iPad. In fact we already know that the BioShock game is going to be one of the first debuting in September. If backside gaming controls were introduced later this year, Apple would certainly have iPads flying off the shelves for Christmas. In July we posted a report titled "Apple's CEO is sharply focused on the iPad with Hints of Significant Innovation on the Way." It's unknown at this time if Apple's backside controls will actually make it for 2014, but this is certainly considered a "significant innovation" for the iPad. I think this would send shockwaves through the industry if Apple pulled it off in the not-too-distant future. Yet as always, only time will tell.
Apple Granted a Patent for Configurable Input Device
Apple has been granted a patent today for their invention relating to computer input devices and, more particularly, to configurable input devices.
In Apple's patent Figures that are shown at the bottom of the graphic below we're able to see an illustrated iPad. The images represent the position of the user's fingers on the iPad's backside corresponding with certain virtual inputs. More specifically, the surface may be utilized as an input device for gaming.
In Apple's patent FIG. below we're able to see the back side of a future iPad which illustrates sensors #177 that may be positioned in regions #178 under a surface of the perimeter of the backside #176 to facilitate input by a user. It should be appreciated that the sensors may be positioned in a linear manner as shown, in a grid pattern, or any other suitable pattern and/or density to achieve a desired input granularity and/or functionality. It should be appreciated that the sensors for determining position and proximity of a user's hands may include ultrasonic, pressure, capacitive sensors, and/or the like. In some embodiments, one or more cameras may be implemented for positionally and/or proximity information.
Today's patent oddly combines two inventions. Both of these inventions were covered in full Patently Apple reports. The first was covered as a patent application in our 2012 report titled "Apple Reveals Future iPad with Backside Controls for Gaming." The second was also covered as a patent application under our report titled "Apple Advances Work on Virtual Keyboards for iMac & MacBook."
Apple credits David Amm as the sole inventor of granted patent 8,799,803 which was originally filed in Q1 2011 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
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