Apple works with a new display type for iPhone, iPad and Macs with visually imperceptible roughness that will improve contact with objects like a finger or Apple Pencil.
The invention lies in glass that will feel smoother to the touch, but more textured when interacting with the Apple Pencil, Patently says Apple.
On Thursday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published patent application Apple for patent number 20170300114 and titled Visually Invisible Textured Surface to Provide Variable Coefficients of Friction Between Objects. The name speaks for itself.
The described surface will contain many small ridges and valleys that will provide different coefficients of friction with different objects. In some embodiments, a rough surface is created by gas etching.
Patently Apple explains:
The relatively large surface area of the user's finger compared to the distance between the projections and depressions will ensure that it only interacts with the projections. Since the finger will be in contact with several protrusions at the same time, their pressure will be evenly distributed over the entire surface of the finger. As a result, a rough screen will feel smooth to the touch.
This glass, sapphire, or plastic display will be twice as durable without compromising brightness, contrast, or other performance.
When interacting with the Apple Pencil, there will be a coarser coefficient of friction to simulate increased drag. The user will notice that under Apple Pencil, the screen is less smooth – like real paper.
The patent first appeared in April 2016, and its authors are engineers Apple Naoto Matsuyuki, Dale Mimring, Matthew Rogers and Victor Luzzato.
The company is also working on next-generation technology 3D Touch with vibration feedback for more visible feedback when using a virtual keyboard, etc.