The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of X newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's invention for a possible new domed orientationless and/or ambidextrous input assembly for controlling a Mac. It may the next-gen Magic Mouse or perhaps the Magic Mouse Pro, which is a trend with Apple.
Some systems may include an electronic device with a display assembly operative to present a graphical user interface, as well as an electronic input assembly that may be manipulated by a user for generating user control signals operative to adjust the graphical user interface. However, existing systems often limit the ways by which a user may interact with an input assembly to generate particular user control signals.
Apple's invention relates to input assemblies (e.g., domed orientationless and/or ambidextrous input assemblies) for controlling an electronic device and methods for using input assemblies for controlling an electronic device.
Determination of a current user orientation with respect to an input assembly (e.g., determination of a current orientation of a user coordinate system of a user with respect to an input coordinate system of an input assembly) may be used to map particular user physical manipulations of the input assembly to particular types of control data for controlling an electronic device (e.g., for controlling a cursor on a screen of the electronic device).
This may enable consistent control data to be generated in response to a particular user physical gesture imparted by a user on an input assembly no matter the orientation of the user to input assembly and/or the orientation of the input assembly to the electronic device and/or the orientation of the user to the electronic device.
Apple notes that a sensor subassembly at least partially protected by the housing structure, and processor operative to detect, with the sensor subassembly, a user coordinate system of a user with respect to the orientationless surface, detect, with the sensor subassembly, a physical use of the housing structure, and determine a control action for the electronic device based on the user coordinate system and the physical use.
Apple further notes that the input assembly 200 (e.g., a mouse) may be configured to provide input to electronic device 100 such as an iMac, MacBook or perhaps the iPad Pro working with the Smart Keyboard.
The next generation Magic Mouse could advance to accept input such as slide gestures, rotation, squeeze, press, touch, or otherwise physically manipulate the input assembly in any suitable manner relative to the electronic controlling electronic devices like the iMac. The patent figures below illustrate the different orientations the next-gen Magic Mouse will be able to move with ease.
Apple's granted patent 10,496,187 was originally filed in Q3 2017 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.