Apple seems to be working on a new technology that will allow users only to hover their fingers over the display to let the iPhone know his or her intent instead of touching the display.
According to a report in eWeek , a patent application by Apple points to a method that lets a display screen read a user’s intent when hovering a finger over the display rather than physically touching the surface.
AppleInsider.com reported that the patent for the “proximity and multi-touch sensor detection and demodulation” technology was granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office on February 2. The patent explains that the new proximity technology will work on photodiodes and other sensing hardware to bring about the hovering effect.
The patent, which comes at a time when the company has just added 3D touch force-sensing ability on to its latest iPhones, may include a capacitive sensing element disposed throughout an LCD display with multiple piggy-backed proximity sensors” that would collect information that would then allow hover gesture detection.
The application document also suggests use of infrared LEDs and photodiodes, much like the infrared proximity modules iPhone uses for head detection,” and that light “bounces off a user’s finger and is captured by the photodiode, which changes current output as a function of received light,” allowing the hovering motions to be interpreted.
The sensors could then detect a finger, palm or other object hovering just above a display surface. This would potentially allow users to push virtual buttons or operate other functions without ever touching a display, offering touch-less operations.
But this technology might not be a very good news for the company as it is still looking for partners to make full use of the 3D touch-sensing technology and also don’t expect it on the iPhone 7 but on later editions.