Thursday 29 January 2015

Apple Patent Reveals Expanding Home Button For Games Players

Apple’s Patent - `Multi-Function Input Device’

It has been reported that Apple has been granted a patent known as `Multi-Function Input Device’ by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office recently which was originally filed by Colin Ely and Fletcher Rothkopf on July 9, 2013 who presently are Apple’s product design executive.

This newly revealed application reports plans for a spring loaded home button which pops up to turn into a joystick whenever the need arises. The home button of the iPhone has various functions. The fingerprint sensor on the home button can unlock the iPhone with Touch ID. Siri gets activated on holding down the home button and on tapping on the home button, one is led to the home screen or it indicates which apps are open.

Apple AAPL+5.67% has been granted patent which shows that a joystick could be built for future iPhones in the home button. The mode of the joystick could be activated on pushing down on the home button where a spring mechanism beneath the surface of the home button could pop up the home button. On using the joystick, one can push the home button once again to return the home button to the normal mode.

Small Joystick For Gaming 

The multi-function input device indicates an iPhone or iPad home button which can change into a small joystick for gaming and is believed that it would maintain the present Touch ID fingerprint sensor where a single click could enable it to pop up as well as transform it into a slightly raised joystick.

A mere push of the raised home button back in a flush position with the body of the iPhone tends to bring it to its original position when gaming is done. The patent states that the multi-function input device is functional in at least a first mode and a second mode and in one example, the multi-function input device could have a button mode as well as a joystick mode.

The diagrams that have been included in the application indicate very low-profile joystick. The input device head may not project outward from the surface when not in use as in the case of a joystick, thus avoiding comprising aesthetic appearance of the electronic device, preventing damage to mechanisms used to project the input device head or/and keeping the input device head out of the way when not in use as a joystick.

Tactile Feedback

Apple has also admitted that in some games, a touchscreen would not be ideal. Touch screens which could be appropriate to applications like Internet browser application have some advantages for operating game applications on portable devices though they could also have some shortcomings.

For instance, a user’s finger would need to cover a certain part of the screen while controlling the game and this could interfere with the user’s capabilities to see what is in control and/or other areas of the game display. Moreover, a touch screen could also be unable to provide tactile feedback and to provide tactile feedback at the time of the game could enhance the player’s gaming experience. Some game lovers are of the opinion that realistic game play could not be experienced fully with the joystick and/or the tactile buttons.

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