A recent LG patent application published by the US Patent & Trademark Office revealed a new invention concerning a revolutionary "no-glasses" based 3D user interface designed for a possible future smartphone. To set it apart from anything else before it, the new design will integrate a highly advanced haptics system that will provide this multitouch 3D interface with an exciting new user experience. On a day when Apple Inc. is set to give the world a peek at their new iOS 7 with a supposedly flatter user interface design, LG is going in the opposite direction.
A Dual Display Smartphone with 3D User Interface
Getting to the heart of the matter, LG's patent figures 2A and 2B noted below presents us with a few illustrations of a possible new smartphone that's on their drawing board. Notably LG envisions the backside of a future smartphone being functional by either including a backside touch pad or a full secondary touch display for multitaskers.
Secondly, LG is considering the use of a removable battery as shown in figure 2B as patent point # 190 and a possible scroll button for easy one hand operation of the content such as a webpage or contacts list.
The main feature of LG's future high-end feature smartphone is its ability to present the user with information in a sophisticated non-glasses 3D interface. LG states that "the multi-touch input may include a first touch input corresponding to a static gesture input for indicating a point on the three-dimensional image and a second touch input corresponding to a dynamic gesture input for moving between the regions in which the plurality of objects 202 to 206 are displayed."
Integrating Advanced Haptics
To provide this possible future LG smartphone with a unique 3D experience beyond anything before it, they'll be integrating a very sophisticated haptics system that will give their 3D interface an associated new touch experience.
LG's engineers state that "Besides vibration, the haptic module may generate various other tactile effects such as an effect by stimulation such as a pin arrangement vertically moving with respect to a contact skin, a spray force or suction force of air through a jet orifice or a suction opening, a contact on the skin, a contact of an electrode, electrostatic force, etc., an effect by reproducing the sense of cold and warmth using an element that can absorb or generate heat."
Additionally, LG engineers state that "The haptic module may be implemented to allow the user to feel a tactile effect through a muscle sensation such as fingers or arm of the user, as well as transferring the tactile effect through a direct contact. Two or more haptic modules may be included in some device configurations.
Moreover, the haptics system may extend beyond the mobile device. It would appear that LG envisions their new haptic system being adopted by car makers. LG's engineers state that "The haptic module may be provided to a place which is frequently in contact with the user. For example, the haptic module may be provided to a steering wheel, a gearshift, a lever, a seat, and the like."
As with most tech company patent filings, they make sure that their invention can go beyond the narrow scope of one device like a smartphone which is their exemplary device. LG's patent filing reads: "A terminal may be implemented in various types. For instance, the terminal in the present description includes a mobile terminal such as a portable phone, a smart phone, a notebook computer, a digital broadcasting terminal, Personal Digital Assistants (PDA), Portable Multimedia Player (PMP) and a navigation system, and a fixed terminal such as a digital TV and a desktop computer. It is assumed that the terminal of the present invention is a mobile terminal. However, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that the present invention may be also applicable to the fixed terminal, except for specific configurations for mobility."
LG filed their patent application under serial number 533853 back in Q2 2012 and published by the US Patent Office in Q2 2013. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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