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Apple files for touch-screen patent

updated 04:25 pm EST, Fri February 3, 2006

Apple touch screen patent

Apple has applied for a touch-screen gesture patent, extending a similar patent application filed in July 2004. The patent application is titled "Gestures for touch sensitive input devices," and features illustrations of a hand making a dialing motion much like that used to control the iPod's clickwheel controller. This suggests perhaps a touch-screen iPod in the works, or the return of an Apple PDA device, replacing the once-popular Newton PDA, which featured a touchscreen. The patent states that "the invention relates, in one embodiment, to a computer implemented method for processing touch inputs... the method includes reading data from a touch sensitive device having a multipoint capability. The method also includes identifying at least one multipoint gesture based on the data from the touch sensitive device."

Various points covered in the patent include imagepop1 a touch-screen device's ability to rotate, zoom, pan, page turn, and make scroll wheel, inertia, and floating control sequence actions, among others.imagepop2

A detailed description of the invention stated that "the invention generally pertains to gestures and methods of implementing gestures with touch sensitive devices. Examples of touch sensitive devices include touch screens and touch pads. One aspect of the invention relates to recognizing at least two simultaneously occurring gestures. Another aspect of the invention relates to displaying a graphical image and linking different touches that occur to the graphical image. Another aspect of the invention relates to immediately recognizing gestures so that actions associated with the gestures can be implemented at the same time."

"Another aspect of the invention relates to changing a displayed image based on and in unison with a gestural input, i.e., the displayed image continuously changes with changes in the gestural input such that the displayed image continuously follows the gestural input. Another aspect of the invention relates to implementing an input mode based on the number of fingers (or other object) in contact with the input device. Another aspect of the invention relates to providing region sensitivity where gestures mean different things when implemented over different areas of the input device. Another aspect of the invention relates to changing an input while making continuous contact with the touch sensitive surface of the touch sensitive device."




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