Apple patents technology that would allow iPhones to detect touches while wearing gloves

By , Nov 26, 2015

Apple patent iPhone touchscreen gloves drawing 002

Did you know that your iPhone’s multi-touch display cannot detect touches while you’re wearing gloves? That’s because the iPhone uses capacitive touchscreen technology that takes human body capacitance as input and gloves block your fingers from touching the screen directly.

A new patent application Apple filed for with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) in the summer of 2014 was published this morning.

Titled “Glove Touch Detection”, it seeks to fix this problem via dynamically adjusted threshold values, which would permit the touchscreen to register touch events while the user is wearing regular gloves.

In addition to using a signal density make threshold to identify an input patch as touching the surface, the invention proposes using a signal density stability threshold in order to identify the input patch as touching the surface.

“In some examples, a weighted average of peak signal density contributions from recent identified touches can be computed to dynamically adjust the make threshold for new input patches,” reads the patent abstract.

In other embodiments, Apple proposes identifying a new input patch as associated with the same path as an earlier touch, which would have its “make” threshold dynamically adjusted based on the earlier touch without computing a weighted average.

Apple patent iPhone touchscreen gloves drawing 002

If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is.

What you need to know is that Apple is actively researching advancing the iPhone’s touchscreen technology to permit users to interact with the handset’s touchscreen while wearing gloves, which would be especially handy during winter days. This would also work if a user had a bandage on one or more fingers.

Standard disclaimer applies: Apple often patents technologies that don’t make it into actual products so there’s no telling if this particular invention will see the light of day.

If you ask me, this technology will be deployed on iPhones as some Samsung devices have had a similar feature for some time now, as shown in the video above.

The patent credits engineers Ari Y. Benbasat and Wayne Carl Western as its inventors.

Source: USPTO

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  • Micke på taket

    Nokia already have this since way back yaaoo

    • Merman123

      What’s a Nokia ?

    • Noohar

      Yup a number of the Nokia Lumia phones from a few yrs ago had this tech. Don’t mind ignorant people who don’t know what “Nokia” is. The granddaddy to the smartphone & by extension the iPhone. I had a fair number of Nokia S60 Symbian smartphones back in the day. This was way before 2007/2008 (iPhone & App Store years) & I could & did load many 3rd party Apps. There was no real centralized store but it was a smartphone that had multitasking & could you expand/extend with these 3rd party Apps.

  • siddique

    So the samsung already got this feature

    • Shinonuke

      That’s awesome. How is it relevant? How will your comment give my iPhone the same ability? They already have gloves that allow for the screen sensing. I am hoping that this technology will work with any gloves

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, they sell glove that will work with smart phone e.i. Iphone. Ive had a nice lether pair for two years now. But this tech would be cool to see in an iphone.

  • Andres

    Apple Gloves lol

  • Unknow Unknow

    Using it in the next iPhone s” that is innovation Apple bravo bravo

    • John

      They never sed they were gonna use it

  • FrankJL

    Oh, welcome to 2011 Apple ‘ lumia

  • William Melendez

    Useful for snowboarding