Apple Files Patent for Touch-Surface Keyboard with Tactile Feedback

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Date: Thursday, December 24th, 2009, 10:55
Category: News

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Ok, this could be really interesting.

Recently, Apple filed for a patent on a touch-surface keyboard with tactile feedback. Per AppleInsider, a problem with typing on touchscreens is that users must typically look at the keys to know what is being pressed; by contrast, most physical keyboards allow people to gauge where their fingers are through bumps and ridges. Apple’s solution would pop up an “articulating frame” whenever typing is engaged, and move it out of the way when it is not.

Such a frame could be based around ridges or concave depressions, much as on a normal keyboard, or alternately on dedicated feedback mechanisms. Another proposed option is a non-articulating frame, which would provide more resistance the further a finger moves away from a key center. Activation of the frame could be triggered by placing fingers in the right place, or simply engaging in typing-like activity. A frame could be lowered when taps or slides are detected.

The technology could conceivably be used in Apple’s long-awaited tablet and a former Apple employee has suggested will surprise people in how they can interact with it. The patent filing is also not the first of its kind from the company, as a similar one was submitted as far back as 2007.

Rumor: Apple Books Media Event for Late January, Tablet Release Speculation Escalates

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Date: Thursday, December 24th, 2009, 06:10
Category: Rumor

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It’s almost Christmas and since speculation makes life interesting, here you go:

Apple has reportedly scheduled a media event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on Tuesday January 26th, 2010, for a major product announcement. Per the Financial Times, Apple has reportedly rented the stage for “several days” at the end of January. Officials with Apple and the center declined to comment.

Although it’s currently unknown what the media event will center around, reports have emerged from the Times stated that Apple’s long-awaited tablet device was due for a January, 2010 unveiling and would go into mass production soon after. Additional reports have surfaced that Apple is in negotiation with TV networks to hash out subscription plans and content for video on the iTunes Store.

Another report stated that a tablet with a 7″ screen was due to be announced in January. This differs from long-standing reports of a device with a 10″ touchscreen, albeit Apple could be manufacturing two differently sized units.

Web blog Silicon Alley Insider was reportedly told by a source that Apple asked developers to prepare full screen versions of their apps for a January demo. Apple has apparently requested that the software in question scale beyond the 320 x 480 pixel size of the current iPhone and iPod touch screen, but said that applications that can accommodate the larger screen size will run “just fine” on the new device.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Rumor: Next-Gen iPhone Expected to Include 5 Megapixel Camera

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Date: Thursday, December 24th, 2009, 05:37
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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If you’re hankering for a better camera on the iPhone, you may not have too much longer to wait.

Per a report on DigiTimes, Apple’s next-generation iPhone is expected to ship with an improved 5-megapixel camera.

According to the report, OmniVision Technologies is expected to see CMOS image sensor orders for Apple’s iPhone devices grow to 40-45 million units in 2010 from 20-21 million estimated this year, according to sources close to the story. These figures include 5-megapixel CIS orders for the next-generation iPhone model according to those sources.

The company currently supplies the 3.2-megapixel CIS found in the iPhone 3GS.

A next generation iPhone is predicted to be available possibly by June next year with other rumors pointing towards iPhone OS 4.0 testing evidence emerging on the web logs of various larger web sites.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.