Microsoft Seeks to Outsmart Apple with a new Mobile Device that could provide users with Multiple Modes of Operation
Apple won 58 Patents today covering an Autonomous Vehicle Lane Change System and an Odd one covering future Wearables

Apple Wins Two Patents covering Future Touch Sidewall Controls including one for a Foldable Device

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Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that relates to iPhones with curved sidewall touch displays and foldable iDevice displays with curved sidewalls with touch capabilities built-in. In addition, a second granted patent likewise points to touch controls for an iPhone's sidewall. While Apple's patents were published well ahead of any rumors of "solid state buttons," it's always nice when the patents and rumors begin to match up.

Patent #1:

Electronic Devices With Display And Touch Sensor Structures

Apple's granted patent covers electronic devices that may have enclosures with walls formed from transparent and opaque materials. Display layers may be mounted under transparent portions of the walls. Touch sensor layers may be mounted under opaque and transparent wall portions.

The electronic device may have a front wall and opposing rear wall. Sidewalls may extend between the front and rear wall. The sidewalls may be flat or may be curved. The front wall and portions of sidewalls may be formed from a glass layer or other transparent member. A touch sensor layer and display layer may extend under the front and sidewall portions of the glass layer. A touch sensor layer may also extend under the opposing rear wall.

A foldable electronic device may have a flexible transparent wall portion that joins planar transparent walls.

In Apple's patent FIG. 14 below, display and/or touch layers may have curved shapes that match the curved profiles of curved sidewalls 12-4 and 12-1; FIG. 18 is a perspective view of an illustrative folding electronic device of the type that may be provided with display and touch sensor structures.


Apple's patent FIG. 27 above is a cross-sectional side view of an illustrative electronic device with two flexible portions to allow the device to fold along two respective bend axes; FIG. 28 is a cross-sectional side view of an illustrative electronic device with three or more flexible portions to allow the device to fold along three or more respective bend axes in accordance with an embodiment.

For more details, review Apple's granted patent US 11579722 B2.

Apple Inventors

  • Fletcher Rothkopf: Senior Director, Technology Development Group
  • John Zhong: VP of Panel, Process & Optics (PPO), Hardware
  • Isaac Chan: Hardware Engineering Manager
  • Sungho Kang: Hardware Engineer


Patent #2:

Electronic Devices With Touch Input Components And Haptic Output Components

Touch buttons (or solid state buttons) happens to be a theme today. A second granted patent on this subject matter was published today by USPTO.

Apple's patent states that "The input-output devices may include touch input components and associated haptic output components, which may be formed along the sidewalls or other areas of the electronic device. The control circuitry may provide haptic output in response to touch input on the touch input components and may also send wireless signals to the external electronic device based on the touch input."

3 Apple granted patent fig for touch control buttons on side wall of iPhone

As presented in Patent FIG. 1 above, Input-output components may be formed on sidewalls #16 (e.g., in the portion of housing #12 in regions #28 of sidewalls and/or other portions of the housing). User input can be sensed using a touch sensor formed from the touch sensor electrodes while haptic output may be supplied to the user by the associated haptic output components.

For more details, review Apple's granted patent US 11579701 B2.

One More Thing

While we're on this theme, it should be noted that Apple filed for a continuation patent last week titled "Electronic Devices with Sidewall Displays" under number US 20230043311 A1. Three published patents on this single theme in a week may indicate that Apple is shoring up its patents on this feature should they be decide to proceed.

4 apple patent figure for touch sidewall displays

10.52FX - Granted Patent Bar




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