Apple has applied for a patent (number 20180213126) for “touch accommodation options” that would touch accommodations to users with tremors or other fine motor impairments to improve the accuracy of such users’ touch inputs on touch-sensitive surfaces such as the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
Such methods and devices could include various approaches for compensating for brief, inadvertent touch inputs; touch inputs with inadvertent motion across the touch-sensitive surface; and/or touch inputs with inadvertent recoil contacts. In some embodiments, the touch accommodations are implemented in a software layer separate from the application layer, such as the operating system.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that some users have difficulty performing accurate touch inputs on a touch screen, for a variety of reasons. For example, users experiencing tremors or other motor control difficulties may inadvertently touch a touch screen multiple times when they were only intending to touch it once (or not at all), or may have difficulty maintaining a contact in a single position on the screen, without inadvertently moving the contact across the screen.
As a result, such users may have difficulty operating touch-based user interfaces. Apple wants to offer user interfaces that provide touch accommodations to compensate for such motor control impairments.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.