Interesting article.  To be honest I usually avoid reading too much
stuff like this, because as much as I'm an Apple fanboy I find the
speculation and pontification drives me up the wall if I read too much
of it lol.  I'm fascinated by this device though, if only because it
strikes me that anything that's had such a hugely long development
cycle must be pushing a few boundries.  Been holding of from picking
up my iPhone or Touch too, just in case it's killer.

Scott

On 1/6/10, Tim Kilgore <tim8...@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> Can youy say "refreshable braille display?"  Sounds possible.
>
> Tim Kilgore
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Phil Vlasak" <p...@pcsgames.net>
> To: "Gamers Discussion list" <gamers@audyssey.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, January 05, 2010 9:34 PM
> Subject: [Audyssey] Braille games on the Apple Tablet?
>
>
>> Hi Folks,
>> I was excited to hear about the new Apple Tablet that might be called
>> either
>> the iBook, or iSlate.
>> I ran across this report of a tactile screen.
>> that sounds a lot like Braille.
>> Now what would the game development possibilities be for a device that
>> could
>> give you a 9 inch field of tactile dots and that could also sense ten
>> finger
>> presses with stereo sound and have a human like speech synthesizer?
>>
>> Possible Apple tablet multi-touch tactile keyboard detailed
>> Thursday, December 24, 2009
>>
>> By Neil Hughes
>>
>> Published: 08:40 AM EST
>>
>>
>> Apple's forthcoming tablet could employ a dynamic surface that gives users
>> tactile feedback when typing in order to identify individual keys,
>> according
>> to a new patent application revealed this week.
>>
>> Using an "articulating frame," the surface of such a device would create
>> physical bumps or dots for the user to feel when it is in keyboard mode.
>> Those surface features would retract and disappear when the device is not
>> being used to type. It is detailed in an application entitled "Keystroke
>> Tactility Arrangement on a Smooth Touch Surface." It is similar to an
>> application first filed back in 2007.
>>
>> "The articulating frame may provide key edge ridges that define the
>> boundaries of the key regions or may provide tactile feedback mechanisms
>> within the key regions," the application reads. "The articulating frame
>> may
>> also be configured to cause concave depressions similar to mechanical key
>> caps in the surface."
>>
>> The tactile feedback keyboard is revealed as one anonymous source told The
>> New York Times that users would be "surprised" how they interact with the
>> tablet.
>>
>> Another example in the application describes a rigid, non-articulating
>> frame
>> beneath the surface. It would provide higher resistance when pressing away
>> from the key centers, but softer resistance at the center of a virtual
>> key,
>> guiding hands to the proper location.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> The patent notes that pointing and typing require very different needs:
>> Pointing is best on a smooth surface with little friction, while typing is
>> preferred on keys with edges that fingertips can feel. Simply putting
>> Braille-like dots on the 'F' and 'J' keys, as is on most physical
>> keyboards,
>> is not enough, because it does not address alignment issues with outside
>> keys.
>>
>> Conversely, while placing dots on every single key on a surface would help
>>
>> a
>> user find their location, it would take away the smooth surface necessary
>> for touch controls that users are accustomed to on a glass screen like the
>> iPhone.
>>
>> The patent aims to offer the best of both worlds with a new device that
>> could dynamically change its surface.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> "Preferably, each key edge comprises one to four distinct bars or
>> Braille-like dots," the application reads. "When constructed in
>> conjunction
>> with a capacitive multi-touch surface, the key edge ridges should
>> separated
>> to accommodate the routing of the drive electrodes, which may take the
>> form
>> of rows, columns, or other configurations."
>>
>> The system would also intelligently determine when the user wishes to
>> type,
>> and when they intend to use the screen as a pointing device.
>>
>> "Specifically, the recognition software commands lowering of the frame
>> when
>> lateral sliding gestures or mouse clicking activity chords are detected on
>> the surface," the application states. Alternatively, when homing chords
>> (i.e., placing the fingers on the home row) or asynchronous touches
>> (typing
>> activity) is detected on the surface, the recognition software commands
>> raising of the frame."
>>
>> Apple filed the Application on Aug. 28, 2009. The invention is credited to
>> Wayne Carl Westerman of San Francisco, Calif.
>>
>> Another Apple patent application revealed this week deals with a
>> multi-touch
>> controller that uses transparent touch sensors and does not require an
>> opaque surface. The description is included in a patent application
>> entitled
>> "Multipoint Touch Surface Controller."
>>
>> "While virtually all commercially available touch screen based systems
>> available today provide single point detection only and have limited
>> resolution and speed, other products available today are able to detect
>> multiple touch points," the application reads. "Unfortunately, these
>> products only work on opaque surfaces because of the circuitry that must
>> be
>> placed behind the electrode structure."
>>
>> The described invention would include drive electronics that stimulate the
>> multi-touch sensor and sensing circuits for reading the sensor in a single
>> integrated package. This is said to be different from some previous
>> multi-touch technology, which has been limited in terms of detectable
>> points
>> due to the size of the detection circuitry.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> The invention, filed for by Apple on Aug. 27, 2009, is credited to Steven
>> P.
>> Hotelling, Christoph H. Krah and Brian Quentin Huppi of California.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> In October, another patent application showed off how a multi-touch tablet
>> interface might work, with a surface that could detect ten individual
>> fingers, along with resting palms, and identify each of them separately.
>> The
>> hand-based system was said to allow "unprecedented integration of typing,
>> resting, pointing, scrolling, 3D manipulation, and handwriting into a
>> versatile, ergonomic computer input device."
>>
>> Apple is said to have been at work on its rumored tablet device device for
>> many years and has been the number one focus of CEO Steve Jobs since
>> returning to his company this summer.
>> http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/12/24/possible_apple_tablet_multi_touch_tactile_keyboard_detailed.html
>>
>>
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