Apple Invents a Way to Restrict Interactions with a Touchscreen
On this holiday July fourth, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a method of restricting user interaction with a touchscreen. The invention could be used by teachers, parents or caregivers that require the ability to restrict access to specific functions of a device for a variety of reasons.
Configuring Restricted Interaction with a User Interface
At times, it may be desirable to restrict interactions with the user interface of an electronic device. For example, a parent or teacher may want to disable certain icons on a touch screen, hardware buttons, sensors, and/or other parts of the user interface so that a young child can use a particular application on the device without accidentally accessing other applications and system functions or deleting files.
Similarly, a caregiver for a person with a cognitive impairment (e.g., autism) may want to restrict interaction with the device by disabling and/or hiding certain icons on a touch screen, hardware buttons, sensors, and/or other parts of the user interface that would distract the person with the cognitive impairment from the task at hand. As another example, a person may want to configure the device for a kiosk mode that restricts access to applications and system functions on the device.
Apple's invention provides a solution that meets the needs as outlined. In Apple's patent FIG. 5C below you see an exemplary user interface regarding an "interaction configuration mode." In some embodiments, the user interface in the interaction configuration mode includes a cancel user interface object # 516, which, when activated by touch gestures, initiates exiting the interaction configuration mode and entering the unrestricted interaction mode.
The Restricting Controls
Apple notes that in some embodiments, the user interface shown in FIG. 5C includes one or more touch interaction controls such as # 508 which, when selected, causes the device to ignore touch inputs on the touchscreen while in the restricted interaction mode. Other restrictive controls available on the user interface could include the following:
The Rotate Interaction Control user interface object # 510 causes the device to ignore rotation of the device while in the restricted interaction mode.
The Shake Interaction Control user interface object # 512 causes the device to ignore shaking of the device while in the restricted interaction mode.
The Motion Interaction Control user interface object # 514 causes the device to ignore movement of the device while in the restricted interaction mode.
Apple credits Eric Seymour and Christopher Fleizach as the inventors of this patent application which was originally filed in Q1 2012. To review this invention in-depth, see patent application 20130174100
Patently Apple wishes our US fan base a Happy Fourth of July Holiday. Cheers!
Patently Apple presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. Revelations found in patent applications shouldn't be interpreted as rumor or fast-tracked according to rumor timetables. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.