Apple patent involves a ‘Multipoint Touch Surface Controller’ device

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of a computing device incorporating a multi-touch touch screen and multi-touch touch screen controller.

Apple has been granted a patent (number US 11853518 B2) for a “Multipoint Touch Surface Controller” that hints at future iPhones and iPads with new multi-touch features. And it could also involve an accessory device for Macs.

About the patent

In the patent Apple notes that there a lot of different input devices for performing operations in a computer system. The operations generally correspond to moving a cursor and/or making selections on a display screen. By way of example, the input devices may include buttons or keys, mice, trackballs, touch pads, joy sticks, touch screens and the like. 

Apple also notes that touch pads and touch screens are becoming increasingly popular because of their ease and versatility of operation as well as to their declining price. Touch surfaces allow a user to make selections and move a cursor by simply touching the surface, which may be a pad or the display screen, with a finger, stylus, or the like. In general, the touch surface recognizes the touch and position of the touch and the computer system interprets the touch and thereafter performs an action based on the touch.

However, Apple says that the problem with most current touch screens is that they are designed to reporting a single point even when multiple objects are placed on the sensing surface. That is, they lack the ability to track multiple points of contact simultaneously.

Apple’s patent involves “a multi-touch capable touch screen controller that facilitates the use of transparent touch sensors and provides for a conveniently integrated package.”

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “A multipoint touch surface controller is disclosed herein. The controller includes an integrated circuit including output circuitry for driving a capacitive multi-touch sensor and input circuitry for reading the sensor. Also disclosed herein are various noise rejection and dynamic range enhancement techniques that permit the controller to be used with various sensors in various conditions without reconfiguring hardware.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.