Apple iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro to Feature New Touchscreen Technology with IR Light, Apple Upgrades Touchscreen Interaction

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By Precious Silva | April 10, 2014 8:22 AM EST

Apple's upcoming iPhone 6 and iPad variations will reportedly sport a new touchscreen technology. The spotted system features IR light and offers improvements on the touchscreen interaction. Whereas there are no clear details yet about the release date of these new devices, it appears Apple wants to push its offerings further. What will the new touchscreen interaction be like? Can it separate Apple's products from the rest of the market? 

According to a report by Apple Insider, the new technology features a combination of infrared light sensing and capacitive touch. The touchscreen technology will allow people to input force accurately on the touch software without additional physical hardware. This breaks ground for GUI navigation and interaction. 

The patent application was published under the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent describes the use of a frustrated total internal reflection along with another touch sensing system to recognize the pressure used by the user on the surface. This tells the device how hard the user has pressed onto the screen surface. 

The most popular execution of this technology is in Microsoft's Perceptive Pixel touch displays. The technology became even more through public outlets and news networks. Apple's edition, on other hand, draws inspiration from the current system though the company decided to use granular data to determine the extent of the force applied. 

In one edition, Apple's system works with one or more IR transmitters under the touchscreen bezels. The transmitters emit IR light at a specific angle to the cover glass. The system can select the angles ensuring that all of the emitted light can be reflected in both surfaces of the cover glass. A receiver will compute the total amount of internal reflection. 

The readings depend on the interaction between the user's finger and the cover glass. Apple's system is different from existing ones because it does not work with exact transmission limits. The system can function so long as there are differences in internal reflection. Likewise, the system does not requirement existent of internal reflection given the touch interface can recognize the finger of the user. 

Apple may roll out this technology to upcoming products but the company has yet to make an official announcement. 

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