Apple Wins Patent for a Future version of the iPad Pro's Smart Keyboard Folio that includes new Touch Gesture Functionality
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 53 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's patent 10,514,772 which relates to a future fabric based keyboard, likely an upgrade to Apple's current Smart Keyboard Folio that will offer new functionality using touch sensors.
Patently Apple covered an Apple granted patent about using touch gestures on a possible future Magic Keyboard for desktops. In today's granted patent we learn that Apple may upgrade their fabric based Smart Keyboard Folio for the iPad Pro to accept touch gestures on the keyboard.
More specifically, Apple notes that when the user desires to reposition an on-screen cursor, to make a multitouch gesture (e.g., a pinch-to-zoom gesture, a two-finger swipe, a three-finger swipe, a two-finger or three-finger tap, etc.), to make a one-finger swipe or other gesture.
Later Apple technically notes that for touch input events, as listed above, the touch sensor circuitry #54 may monitor capacitance changes at the intersections of the horizontal and vertical capacitive touch sensor electrodes (paths #46) to gather touch input data and may supply the touch input that is gathered from the capacitive touch sensor electrodes to control circuitry such as control circuitry in device 10 and/or control circuitry in the keyboard.
Apple's patent FIG. 2 below is simply illustrating that the patent is about a keyboard; in FIG. 5 we're shown a circuit diagram of an illustrative keyboard with keys and an overlapping grid of touch sensor electrodes in a capacitive touch sensor; FIG. 11 is a top view of an illustrative touch sensor fabric in which touch sensor signal lines circumvent an opening that forms an alphanumeric character for a key; and FIG. 12 is a top view of an illustrative touch sensor fabric in which touch sensor signal lines are at least partially transparent.
Apple's granted patent 10,514,772 was originally filed in Q3 2017 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Some of Apple's Inventors
Paul Wang: Architect, Product Design
Aidan Zimmerman: Senior Produce Design Engineer
Chiachi wu: Mechanical Engineer
Dan Sunshine: Manager Product Design
Zheng Gao: Sr. Product Design Manager. Now with Tesla