Apple is exploring methods that will improve the usability of the iPhones when exposed to high humidity scenarios, such as being underwater or in the rain. The key goal is to somehow improve the screen’s touch sensitivity in such a scenario, or at least create a system that can offer enough touch sensitivity to discern between a valid finger-based gesture and accidental ghost touch from liquid exposure. .
According to one request According to Apple’s patent, one of the implementations could include a system similar to Force Touch, which Apple should fully recover, which will measure the amount of force exerted on the screen. This patent launches the idea of using a force input detection sensor or load detector to identify the point of touch input and thus determine whether it originated from a finger-based gesture or simply a splash of ink. liquid.
There are multiple technical avenues in which the proposed system could come to life. For example, the ambient light sensor will set things in motion when it detects that the amount of ambient light exposure has been reduced due to moisture on the sensor, or in the case of underwater activity. Here, the ambient light sensor serves as an ambient sensor, according to the patent.
However, a pressure sensor that can determine water immersion events can also serve as an environmental sensor. An electromagnetic sensor that emits radiation such as infrared waves can also be deployed as an environmental sensor to check whether the surrounding space is submerged or covered in water.
The camera array can also be used to perform in-depth analysis of its surroundings by studying optical characteristics. This includes the refractive index of the surrounding medium as well as the light absorption pattern to analyze if the device is immersed in liquid. The patent application throws out the idea of using a system of capacitors to discern between “false touch” and “true touch”.
In the event that an environmental sensor detects moisture above the screen, the capacitance detectors will help the processor calculate whether the touch input is coming from the user or from liquid covering the screen. A certain threshold value will be set for the change in capacitance over the screen, and anything below or above that will be categorically identified as true or false touch input.
In addition to improving touch sensitivity, the patent also talks about tweaking certain user interface elements to make it easier for users to use a device underwater. For example, the icons of the most used applications could be enlarged for easy access. Also, the user experience of apps like the camera app can be simplified to make things more convenient for users.
As great as the ideas described above sound, keep in mind that this is just a patent application. In a nutshell, it’s just an exploration of technical ideas that may or may not appear on an iPhone. But having read a handful of Apple patents exploring wild concepts like a curved glass MacBook with a touch-sensitive keyboard attached or an iPhone with the design from the Mac Pro’s cheese grater, this one sounds doable enough to actually pull it off.