The United States Patent and Trademark office has just granted Apple 38 patents on a wide range of technologies and designs, including a multi-touch multi-haptic system as well as the (apparently special, but fairly uninteresting) buckle on the Apple Watch.
The multi-touch multi-haptic system has long been a buzzword in the mobile phone industry, meaning that a touch screen would be able to apply distinct vibrations in response to multiple points of contact by a user. So if you’re spreading your fingers wider to zoom in on a map, the movement at both points might elicit separate slight vibrations.
Apple has filed over a dozen patents regarding their development of such a system, despite never actually embracing haptics on their iPhones. Perhaps the close association between Android and haptics explains partly why it has been over five years since the last Apple multi-touch multi-haptic system patent was filed. Might that also mean they’re reconsidering the technology for coming generations?
Another patent Apple received relates to the “Extraction of skeletons from 3D maps.”
According to Patently Apple, the company also:
“received several design patents including the the iPhone 5s with Touch ID (D747,310); the Apple Watch’s Modern Buckle Band (D747,234); and Apple’s newest version of the Apple TV user interface (D747,336).”
We all know that the major Silicon Valley giants are engaged in a crazy, massive patent war, with lawsuits, countersuits and half-billion dollar settlements that make it hard to figure out who, if any of them, are ever actually winning. But it’s safe to say that Apple just got a lot of ammunition.