Tired of fingerprints smudging your smartphone? On Monday the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a new Google patent that could bring touch controls to the backsides of future smartphones. According to the filing, controls would be located on the back of smartphones to make it easier to turn the pages of an e-book, scroll through an article or flip through photos.
The patent comes with conceptual diagrams that demonstrate how this technology would work with smartphones. For example, one figure included in the patent depicts a device’s response to these non-touch screen controls, showing the step-by-step process involved in executing a task. Another reveals how these controls would be used to determine the location of a device.
According to Patentbolt, Google states that this technology could apply to future devices such as tablets or Chromebooks in addition to Android smartphones. The recently discovered patent echoes a similar filing from Apple back in 2006 that also involves the use of backside smartphone controls. Apple has yet to develop any back-panel controls for its existing smartphones or tablets, but rumors surrounding the next-generation iPhone hint that it could come with a fingerprint sensor for added security.