Patents: Multi-Touch Gesture Learning And Fingernail-Tapping For Second Function Tap
The US Patent and Trademark Office released a rather large pile of patent applications earlier this morning filed by Apple, the bulk of which pertained to the ongoing research of multi-touch technology by Wayne Westerman, former cofounder of Fingerworks. These applications specifically dealt with the refining of the touch experience by avoiding unintentional contact, hardware advancements, as well as the use of gestures.
One application, titled “Gesture Learning”, deals with various methods for teaching some of the more complicated gestures to a user. In the previous patent application we saw dealing with multi-touch gestures, many of the gestures described were fairly complicated, and could be difficult to learn and remember. To solve this problem, Apple has taken a look at ways of making the process easier for users, such as the use of visible feedback like animated motion trails and hand motions, or interactive games to help with the learning process.
Another patent deals with the use of capacitance and resistance for sensing both the touch of a fingertip and the touch of a fingernail, and noticing the difference between the two to provide a secondary function. For instance, a person could select a list by tapping it with a finger tip, which is picked up with capitative sensors, where tapping it with the fingernail or otherwise non-capacative object could bring up a pop-up window, essentially the same way a right-click or ctrl-click does on the Mac. (This might be a good candidate for copy/paste functionality on the iPhone.)