Apple Working On Smart Bezel With Illuminated Indicators For Future iPhones
Patently Apple has discovered a Apple patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which reveals that Apple is working on a new interface system that includes a smart bezel around the main touchscreen, which could be used to show a set of new illuminated indicators or buttons.
Apple is trying to solve the following problem:
Apple first lays out the problem to solve by stating that traditional electronic devices include a display for providing visual outputs to a user. For example, a traditional device may include a liquid crystal display (LCD) for providing visual outputs to a user. Some traditional electronic devices may further include a touch interface overlaying the display for receiving inputs from the user. For example, a device may include a touch screen assembly with a display for providing outputs and a corresponding touch interface for receiving user inputs. To assist a user in providing inputs, traditional devices use the display to provide indicators to the user regarding where and how to provide a touch input. For example, a traditional device may display a virtual button on a touch screen to indicate that a user can touch that portion of the screen to provide an input. However, providing such indicators occupies space on the touch screen that could otherwise be used for displaying visual content.
Apple hopes to solve the problem with the following solution:
Apple’s patent covers systems and methods for selectively illuminating a secondary display. An electronic device could include a primary display (e.g., a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen) and a secondary display (e.g., a printed segmented electroluminescence display). The primary display could be used to convey visual content to a user, and the secondary display could be used to guide a user providing inputs to the device. For example, the secondary display could be selectively illuminated to provide one or more indicators that represent where or how a user can provide inputs to the device.
Apple could use the secondary display for missed calls, new text messages and even for notifications from iPhone apps.Â However, if the rumors that iPhone 5 will come with a larger edge-to-edge screen turn out to be true then it very unlikely that this patent will be implemented.
Do you want a larger edge-to-edge screen or the smart bezel? Let us know in the comments below.
[via Patently Apple]
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