updated 05:10 pm EDT, Thu October 11, 2007
New Apple patents
Apple has filed a new multitouch patent application that appears describes technology used on the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as potentially forthcoming products. The patent describes force and location detection with two transparent substrates that, when combined, result in response to a user's touch input and location of the touch. In other words, the patent describes a display that can act as an input-output unit capable of both location sensing and force sensing operations. Apple says the patent could be applied to various types of LCD, Plasma and CRT displays.
Another patent describes a method for making user accounts portable across different systems. A user account created at a multi-user computer can be stored to an external, portable data storage device, and then moved to a new computer, resulting in automatic transference and usability of the account. This could be applied to Mac OS X, where a user account created on one system could be put on an external hard drive, which is then connected to another computer, resulting in the account being accessible.
The patent says "In one embodiment, the external, portable data store can not only store the user account but can also provide general data storage. In another embodiment, the external, portable data store can be a portion of a portable computing device (e.g., media player) that provides other functionality besides data storage."