Hardware based haptics are common on your iPhone to alert you of an event like a new message or an alarm to wake you up. Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that they may extend their haptic alert system through to future MacBooks and/or other devices (iMac, Kitchen appliances etc.).
Apple's patent FIG. 3B the electronic device may determine that the display is unavailable because the lid is closed and instead utilize the haptic input device to provide a haptic notification noted at #302 in the patent figure above. The haptic notification will occur via the surface of the device. Such a haptic notification may be one or more vibrations, forces, motions, temperatures, electrical currents, and/or other haptic outputs.
In some cases, such a haptic notification may be one or more vibrations, forces, motions, temperatures, electrical currents, and/or other haptic outputs and/or one or more sounds.
Apple notes that in some implementations, the electronic device may also provide haptic notifications for a variety of different other events such as events occurring within one or more applications executing on the electronic device.
Such application level events may include, but are not limited to, received messages, task completions (such as completed downloads or installations), switching between communication modes of one or more communication media (such as between roaming and non-roaming communication modes), application state changes, input needed, security alerts, and/or any other event that occurs at the application level of the electronic device.
Apple patent application 20160011664 was originally filed in Q3 2014. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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