NextGen Apple Patents: iPhone 4G, iSlate

There had been lots of rumors on iPhone 4G and Apple Tablet aka iSlate. Luckily, new patents reveal that adds fuel to the craze of what apple had been innovating under the hood.

The US Patent and  TM Office published a patent application from Apple’s work on multi-touch screen technology that will power it’s next generation devices.

The  patent has more to do with displays with capacitive elements of the pixels — the system that generates an image on the display also form part of a touch sensing system that senses touch events on or near the display.

The patent focuses on displays including pixels with dual-function capacitive elements that translate into fewer moving parts and/or processor steps that could deliver thinner, brighter displays.

Without going much in detail, here’s alist of things this patent claims:

  1. Dual-Function Capacitive Elements: “Touch screen having regions of pixels with dual-function capacitive elements that operate as LCD elements and as touch sensors according to embodiments of the invention”.  Till date most devices use separate screen/surfaces — One for display and one for Touch. This patent makes it possible to do it via one surface, efficiently.
  2. Touch Screen with Metal Traces for Key Devices: Metal traces running in the border areas of the touch screen according to embodiments of the invention. The new touch screen technology that includes pixels with dual-function capacitive elements is idle for Apple’s iPhone,  Apple’s MacBook trackpad and display.
  3. In-Plane Switching LCD using Low Temperature Polycrystalline Silicon: IPS or in-plane switching LCD display using (LTPS) low temperature polycrystalline silicon according to embodiments of the invention.

In-plane switching was developed by Hitachi Ltd. in 1996 to improve on the poor viewing angle and the poor colour reproduction of TN panels at that time. The magic comes into play when you add LTPS. LTPS provides more than a 100 times faster TFT mobility than the amorphous silicon technology.

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[via patentlyapple]

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