Apple wins Patent for Future Apple Devices having Close-to-Invisible Micro Notification areas & Interactive Buttons
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 77 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's patent that relates to electronic device having hidden or concealed input regions. Apple has been working on this over the years starting in 2008 (01, 02 &, 03).
Apple's granted patent describes systems, devices, and techniques relating to future electronic devices having a hidden or concealable input region. The electronic device may include an enclosure wall or other enclosure component that forms an external surface of the electronic device.
An input region may be defined along the external surface, which may be configured to control a function of the electronic device in response to an input, including a force input, touch input, and/or proximity input.
An array of microperforations may be arranged over a portion of the input region. When illuminated or in an activated state, the microperforations may display virtual keys, buttons, notification graphics, or other indicia or symbols at the external surface, and thereby reveal the input region. When not illuminated or in a deactivated state, the array of microperforations may not be visually perceptible or visible.
In some cases, the external surface may be substantially free of visual indications of the input region and the input functionality of the input region may be concealed.
The array of microperforations are configured to be visually imperceptible when not illuminated by the light source. The array of microperforations are further configured to display a symbol when illuminated by the light source.
In a series of patent figures below you could see that Apple envisions close to invisible input areas that illuminate when needed will apply to MacBooks, iPhones, Apple Watch, Apple Pencil and likely other devices like an Apple Display, iPad and so forth.
For more on this, review our original patent application report here. Apple's granted patent was originally filed in Q2 2018 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.