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Apple Patent Applications Hint of Next-Gen Plans

May 11, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
ipad3_and_new_patents.pngMay 5, 2012 by Ashleigh Allsopp via Macworld-U.K. -- Apple has filed 14 new patent applications, which were published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday. The patents include an advanced new haptics system, a new battery design, a new camera feature, and some modifications to the Mac mini and high-speed cables.

Just before the new iPad was announced, it was reported that Apple could be implementing a new haptic texture display in the tablet, which would create a 'textured feedback' by means of a small electrical stimulus. The new iPad emerged with no such display, however, a new patent filed by Apple has revealed a more advanced multi-tiered haptics system, reports Patently Apple.

The system would allow an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch's display to deform to make a button, an arrow, or a map pop out of the screen to give it three-dimensional depth.

The latest patent shows an invention that uses layered haptic controls. Patently Apple says: "Haptic systems may be used for actuation such as vibration, shape change (e.g., contouring a flat surface), or other suitable actuations or combination of actuation which may provide tactile feedback to a user.

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