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Apple iPhone 4G patent surfaces?

Byline: (Staff)

Three new Apple patents applications unearthed this week suggest a range of new features that may be included in the next generation iPhone. <p>MacRumors reveals the most interesting patent appears to be a haptic feedback concept employing a "grid of piezoelectronic actuators" potentially producing a fully tactile touchscreen. This could mean the ability to feel virtual buttons or a click wheel and receive small vibrations from the handset. <p>Limited haptic technology has started gaining adoption in other mobile phones and there had been some talk that Apple might have been looking to adopt it. <p>A second Apple patent application suggests the detection of a user's individual fingerprints as an input method, a security implementation likely to be welcomed by many. It could also mean allowing different parts of the iPhone and any applications to open or locked to different users. <p>The last, and possibly least, Apple patent application places a Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag reader in the actual display panel of a device, allowing it to read RFID tags. RFID tags are small circuits that can be embedded in objects for identification using a special reader. RFID tags are often used in enterprise supply chain management to improve the efficiency of inventory tracking and management. <p>Apple suggests that a RFID antenna could be placed in the touch sensor panel itself, allowing it to also be used as a RFID reader. As RFID tags become more common, this could add a useful function to future touch screen devices suggests MacRumors.

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Publication:Network World Middle East
Date:Jul 7, 2009
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