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Apple patent brings improved glove touch mode to iPhone

Apple new iPhone Patent
(Image credit: Apple)

Way back in 2015, Patently Apple had reported on a new Apple patent titled " Apple Invents a Touch Screen that users will finally be able to Control with Gloves on." iPhone user's hearts were filled with joy, especially those of us who live in cooler climates and experience winter. 

Personally, I've had an iPhone since 2017, and I can personally report that you still really can't control your phone while wearing gloves unless you purchase special gloves or have a pair with the flippy fingertips that allow you to flip the tip back and expose your fingers to the cold and your screen. 

Finally, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple said patent relating to the new glove touch detection mode and expands on how it works. 

According to the patent, the sensors on the touch panel will be able to detect when a user is using their bare finger and switch to a gloved mode with a lower detection threshold than when using a bare finger on the touch screen. 

It seems easier than detecting touch, and touch signals require sensors that can input patch corresponding to a proximate object, like a finger or stylus, and calculate the single density and other variables like the slope. 

So the sensors behind the display will have to be able to detect the difference between a bare finger and a gloved one and be able to automatically transition from bare touch mode to gloved mode seamlessly. The patent FIR.2 image below shows how the system uses its detection capabilities to make it all work. 

Apple Patent for new glove sensor

(Image credit: Apple)

As we see in FIG. 6A demonstrates how it works using a signal density diagram for objects in contact with the sensor panel. It's all very fascinating, and I, for one, hope it works because it would be wonderful not to have to take off my glove on a cold New York winter day to respond to a text from one of my kids asking me for money, which is already cold enough. 

Will this new technology makes it into the upcoming iPhone 13 to be more than likely be released this upcoming fall? We don't know. However, there seem to be a lot of changes coming to the next iteration of iPhones. The upcoming iPhone seems like it will be a force to reckon with when it arrives in stores, from rumored Mini LEDs to behind-the-display fingerprint sensors and even larger camera image sensors.