Radar technology is an electromagnetic-based detection system that could bring immense change to cellular technology in the future. Google has been working on using radar technology and had already infused it with their Pixel 4 smartphones. It seems like Apple is also on board with using radar technology to replace touch displays and deliver thinner devices.
The US Patent and Trademark Office published the patent application submitted by Apple and it could have related to the use of radar technology in future iPhones to replace touch displays. The application was published on July 30, 2020.
According to a Patently Apple report, Apple’s new patent is related to a device, an apparatus, a method and a computer program for detecting a touch input to a surface, to a touch screen module, a touch screen apparatus, mobile terminals and a touch screen computer.
Radar technology usually transmits electromagnetic radiation receiving a portion of the electromagnetic radiation reflected by nearby objects. The detection of the touch input in the iPhones may be based on using this radar.
The radar technology will detect the touch input to the surface and it may allow the construction of thinner touch screens. All of this may come at a lower cost than a cost of capacitive touch screens, resistive touch screens or other touch screens.
If the radar does the trick, the iPhones could have lesser thickness than any smartphones using on-cell or in-cell technology.
Through adjustments to a region where the touch may be detected, through adjustments to a temporal and/or to a spatial resolution, energy consumption of a radar-based touch screen may be lower than an energy consumption of a capacitive touch screen. Moreover, larger touch screens may be constructed using radar technology with little or no loss to precision of the detection of the touch.
Additionally, the detecting of the touch input may be performed in two-time intervals to conserve energy. During the first interval, the surface may be coarsely and sparsely scanned for objects approaching the surface. At the second interval, a more precise detection may be performed to determine the position of the touch input.
Some of the basic principles may lead to the elimination of the touch screen sensor that covers the device screen. Whereas, in radar technology, very small touch-screen radar (TS-radar) detectors may be placed on the edges under the display screen (two to four detectors). These detectors will be capable of determining the position of an object on the X-Y-Z axis in sub-millimeter precision.
It is o be mentioned that Samsung uses on-cell technology to make its devices look thinner. Rumors have it that iPhones could also adopt the same technology for its iPhone 12 or higher devices. With the introduction of radar technology, Apple can take over the market with its lighter and thinner devices.
Apple patented application was filed back in Q1 2020 and was published by the U.S. Patent Office on July 30, 2020. This technology is only in papers now. We yet don’t know when it will be integrated with the Apple devices. We will get back to you when we will have more information.