Apple patents published by the US Patent & Trademark Office have indicated the company could be working on a new iPhone design with virtual buttons and Touch sensors all across the rear of the phone. These sensors could be used to control to the phone during a gaming session. There’s also a patent where Apple is working on a foldable device.
PatentlyApple has put out details of the two Apple patents. With the first, it looks like the new touch sensors will be “lined within the device’s entire outer cavity so that all sides of a device (top, bottom and left and right walls) could contain touch sensors.” The patent says some of these sensors could be designed keeping gaming in mind, while physical button could be replaced entirely with virtual ones.
The patent highlights how the rear surface will come with Touch Controls. Also when a device is in landscape mode, the camera will get show virtual buttons related like virtual shutter button, screen brightness, colour, contrast, etc. In normal portrait mode, the volume controls will appear instead, says the report.
The flexible device patent is actually Apple’s fourth one in foldable display technology, points out the report on PatentlyApple. This future Apple device could folded just like a book, and the display could have curved shapes, but this patent was filed in May 2016, so an actual product could take time.
The iPhone virtual button design is something that will be interesting to watch, though an Apple patent by itself doesn’t mean the product is coming soon. Apple is expected to go for a design change in the iPhone 8 or iPhone 7s for next year, and will ditch the aluminium chassis for a glass body.
We’ve already seen Apple ditch physical buttons on the MacBook Pro with the new OLED TouchBar, where the buttons are customised, according to the application that is in use. Now as the Apple patent hints, Cupertino is also exploring ways to do the same on an iPhone.