Application of FW technology at Apple?

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Application of FW technology at Apple?

Postby mboeing » 02 Feb 2006, 16:29

United States Patent Application 20060026536

Methods and systems for processing touch inputs are disclosed. The invention in one respect includes reading data from a multipoint sensing device such as a multipoint touch screen where the data pertains to touch input with respect to the multipoint sensing device, and identifying at least one multipoint gesture based on the data from the multipoint sensing device.

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(Note: post edited by TorbenGB to shorten the display of the "URL".)
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Postby LiquidAg » 03 Feb 2006, 02:08

Is this something that you're talking about, with pics of them using it for tablet-type computers?

http://hrmpf.com/wordpress/48/new-apple-patents/
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Postby goldfish » 03 Feb 2006, 07:35

Great find! This is very interesting.

I'm sad that it doesn't mention Westerman or Elias among the inventors. I also don't see mention of the FW patent numbers.

At first glance, it looks like they're trying to expand on FW tech:
Patent application authors wrote:[0011] In recent times, more advanced gestures have been implemented. For example, scrolling may be initiated by placing four fingers on the touch pad so that the scrolling gesture is recognized and thereafter moving these fingers on the touch pad to perform scrolling events. The methods for implementing these advanced gestures, however, has several drawbacks. By way of example, once the gesture is set, it cannot be changed until the user resets the gesture state. In touch pads, for example, if four fingers equals scrolling, and the user puts a thumb down after the four fingers are recognized, any action associated with the new gesture including four fingers and the thumb will not be performed until the entire hand is lifted off the touch pad and put back down again (e.g., reset). Simply put, the user cannot change gesture states midstream. Along a similar vein, only one gesture may be performed at any given time. That is, multiple gestures cannot be performed simultaneously.

[0012] Based on the above, there is a need for improvements in the way gestures are performed on touch sensitive devices.

And in the article, it says: "Additionally, a virtual keyboard would enable typing on the tablet"--this is shown below:
Image

The patent app also says: "although the invention has been primarily directed at touchscreens, it should be noted that in some cases touch pads may also be used in place of touchscreens."
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Postby mboeing » 03 Feb 2006, 10:40

LiquidAg wrote:Is this something that you're talking about, with pics of them using it for tablet-type computers?

http://hrmpf.com/wordpress/48/new-apple-patents/


Yes, I found it in the context of an article about Apple tablet-type computer.

/Markus.
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Postby ken gray » 03 Feb 2006, 14:47

i'm definitely no buying that thing...looks like you have to iron your fingers just to operate it.

are we sure this isn't an application from aliens in order to fiscally and intellectually take control of the scientific development of the planet?...weird fingers.
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Postby ivanw » 03 Feb 2006, 16:05

+1, ken, I agree with the general idea of aliens working at Apple. If I were one of them, this is where I'd hide. You barely care to disguise in computerland where everybody is just a little bit more disturbed than the other. :wink: Having an extra finger for instance could be just one of these new tricks, and surgery will advertise for sooner or later.

Yes, weird hands, their brains might be too. What a clumsy patent! Still, they were smart enough to hijack Fingerworks team before swanking with such a messy approach of the technology.

With a Touchstream on my desk I know better. From my point of view, it looks like they are still wondering whether their project may prove feasible. I even wonder if they see beyond mending the damned touchpad :roll:
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Postby Rqyteqto » 04 Feb 2006, 21:40

Those aren't alien hands, just look at the frog below for where those hands came from. Aliens indeed, that's just a distraction fobbed on us by the Frog People who will soon take over the Earth and punish us for our wholesale poisoning of their many cousins.

Ribbit!
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Postby goldfish » 05 Feb 2006, 21:12

Aliens. Frogs. I think you guys are missing the boat on this one. Clearly Apple, not content to superficially improve on FW's products for us RSI sufferers, is developing animatronic replacement arms in conjunction with said products. Why do you think Steve Jobs just became the largest shareholder in Disney? It was to gain access to the Disney animatronic technology patents, for use in these new arms. With our new Apple brand animatronic replacement arms and our tablet keypads optimized for these arms, our RSI will be a thing of the past.

(Apologies to Mr. Jobs for revealing his secret animatronic arm plans).
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Postby Rqyteqto » 06 Feb 2006, 20:11

Does this would mean we would have to buy various arm movements and gestures on I-tunes?

Man, what an opportunity, I've applied for copyright and patent on certain arm and hand movements and gestures relating to manipulations of various parts of the anatomy, I'll make a zillion for sure.
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Postby ivanw » 06 Feb 2006, 23:23

Wanna Pee? Image 5¢ for me
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OTP

Postby aegis » 07 Feb 2006, 09:33

Strangely, this reminded me of <a href=http://www.philipkdick.com/works_novels_ubik.html>Ubik</a>

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Postby kablooie » 08 Feb 2006, 17:23

Apple's biggest challenge...

Finding an artist that can draw hands.

Why don't they go raid Pixar or something?
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Postby mboeing » 09 Feb 2006, 12:13

Found this on Mac Essentials today:

Multi-Touch Interaction Research
Bi-manual, multi-point, and multi-user interactions on a graphical interaction surface.

http://mrl.nyu.edu/~jhan/ftirtouch/

/Markus.
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Postby ivanw » 09 Feb 2006, 13:38


An interesting note on this page:
We'll be working with other, more interesting form factors (both larger and smaller). Wouldn't it also be nice to identify which finger is associated with each contact?
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Postby Rqyteqto » 09 Feb 2006, 16:50

This looks a lot like the Mitsubishi MERL multi-touch/multi-user system.
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Fingerworks and laptop screens

Postby jsavidge » 15 Feb 2006, 05:09

Greetings,

Back in ’02, I bought an iGesture Numpad after trying one out at the office of the local Fingerworks rep’s office here in Dallas, TX.

After noticing that I could use the pad even while wearing gloves, I mentioned to the rep that the Fingerworks keyboards might have some good uses in my area of work. At the time I was writing control programs for Semiconductor manufacturing equipment. A keyboard that had no moving parts, and worked through gloves (i.e. through a clean room “bunny-suit”) might be good replacement for standard keyboards. I asked him if he knew what the “outgassing” profile for the fingerworks products were and what the pricing was for custom configurations.

He said that he didn’t know, but that someone from Fingerworks would be coming through town and that he could ask him. In November of that year a Mr. Frank Lytle from Fingerworks did visit and the Dallas rep brought him to my office so we could talk about these issues.

After the meeting I got an email from Mr. Lytle that answered many of the issues I had. (I can post the contents of the email in another thread if anyone is really interested.)

While those answers don’t actually pertain to this thread, some other things that happened during that meeting do.

I had my Apple Powerbook laptop there and asked Mr. Lytle if they were planning any keyboard replacements for the Apple machines. I showed him that the current crop of Apple laptops had keyboards that lifted up and could be removed. He seemed surprised, and said that there was some technical meeting coming up at Fingerworks and he would mention this to them.

In regards to using their technology in clean rooms, I shows him how I could use the Numpad even when I had gloves on. In addition to that, I mentioned that another one of my experiments indicated that their technology might be usable as a touchscreen replacement.

I held up the Numpad behind my Powerbook’s screen with one hand and showed how the Numpad could sense my other hand’s movements from the other side of the LCD.

I postulated how it might be possible that they could create a new kind of touchscreen that had the potential of being cheaper or the potential of being more capable than current touchscreens.

Please remember that this meeting took place in November of 2002. It was sometime after that when Fingerworks came out with a Apple PowerBook laptop keyboard replacement. And recently we have these new touchscreen patents from Apple that seem like they might be related to the Fingerworks technology.

Did my demonstrations and questions have anything to do with the things that followed?

I don’t know. For all I know Fingerworks may have already been exploring and researching these things, but Mr. Lytle was not allowed to tell me about them.

If nothing else, I wanted to add this little piece of history to what we know about the life of the Fingerworks company.

James T. Savidge, Tuesday, February 14, 2006
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Re: Fingerworks and laptop screens

Postby goldfish » 15 Feb 2006, 07:08

jsavidge wrote:After the meeting I got an email from Mr. Lytle that answered many of the issues I had. (I can post the contents of the email in another thread if anyone is really interested.)

Sure. Post it. I'd be interested to read it anyways. We can eventually put it in a "History of Fingerworks" page in the Wiki :D

That name sounded familiar, from back in the day when I was googling all these names to find out what became of the company. I guess Frank Lytle was the VP, Sales and Marketing.
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Re: Fingerworks and laptop screens

Postby ivanw » 15 Feb 2006, 11:29

savidge wrote:If nothing else, I wanted to add this little piece of history to what we know about the life of the Fingerworks company.

Thank you James, that's a nice peace of information and any more details will surely draw attention around here!

I can't believe that all these patent gaming could result in a confiscation of the technology. This is why I deeply dislike the way events took place since Fingerworks demise. Someone decided we should not know what happened and what is happening, guess who and why...

You win! Those are the same who will faithfully advertise the ensuing product. They are currently hiding everything from us and I am sure they claim that this is necessary for some highly strategic reason.

Couldn't they manage to have us be part of their current effort to bring the technology to the next level? Information is what is missing and the more we can share the better.
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Postby thenn » 07 Apr 2006, 19:54

http://www.macsimumnews.com/index.php/archive/11145/
This is kind of interesting seeing that it supposedly came from an Apple patent.
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Postby Rqyteqto » 08 Apr 2006, 20:33

They couldn't just use the Mac-n-Touch, already complete and working, no siree, got to do it the hard way. Reinvent the wheel from scratch. I guess they can't risk the notion of Apple not having invented everything that's really 'cool'.

I wonder the FW boys are content to see all their work being assimilated by Apple with no mention of themselves or their own patents. Its sad.
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Postby ivanw » 08 Apr 2006, 22:05

I fail to see something any close to FingerWorks technology in this Wide touchpad on a portable computer thing :!:

I say that because I did take the time to read Wayne Westerman's dissertation (pdf) about the FingerWorks MultiTouch technology. It is something I could understand after some re-reading of the most technical parts. This patent, I have a hard time to read more than five words before I absolutely need to close my browser...

I say it is full fledged gibberish with some childish nonsense illustrations with an official patent number near the Apple trademark put there for a whole bunch a lawyers ready to dissuade anyone who could ever think about doing something like this. And the less this has a meaning, the better... And this is a real achievement, I tell you that this will become a master peace among the most silly patent ever.

After all, maybe Wayne and John are just cleaning the floor in there. Maybe they were told something like: We give you money and in return we want you on another planet...

If Wayne got his degree of Doctor of Philosophy with his multitouch tech, I wonder what he would have got instead with something like this patent... In a zoo, he would have collected a few peanuts, at best. And if only one thing is for sure, we would not have our 1000$ TS on our desk. :cry:

I already know that I won’t have anything related to this patent soon. It looks like they have a few decades of home work before them. I can wait for a while but I rather think I'll have time to die and resurrect several times before then.

:twisted: Come on Steve, you can do better.
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Postby Rqyteqto » 09 Apr 2006, 19:08

Do better? Well of course he could, he's got the boys, he's got the FW patents and presumably he's got all the remaining FW stock plus whatever got sent in for refund in lieu of repair. He could have been producing MacinMultitouchStream products as early as last June, all they had to do was build the assembly line, maybe do some upgrades to the hard and software and adjust the logos and start shipping.

My opinion is Apple just can't have something cool they didn't invent and so they are waiting a while for memory of Fingerworks to fade away (of course this forum is a mote in the cogworks of that strategy) and slowly introduce bits and pieces of the tech to ease the concept in.

Give it a year or so and suddenly Apple will intro AppleTouch, maybe in sync with a major scifi movie that uses it. They do have Disney Studios at their beck and call.

I agree this 'patent' appears to be a sham, though it does introduce the notion of multiple touch screens/pads.

Have to hand it to Jobs though, from near obscurity 10 years ago to becoming one of the biggest forces in the entertainment industry. He has an amazing ability of getting others to pull him into deals which result in his being top dog. If in 1997 you told someone that in 10 years Steve Jobs would not only be back at the top of Apple that was wildly more successful than ever before despite switching to Intel processors but also the head of Disney and thus ABC as well they would have locked you up, stuffed you full of thorozine and lithium and thrown away the key.
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Postby ivanw » 21 Jul 2006, 13:31

:roll: Apple's latest iPod touch-screen...

:arrow: Image
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Re: Fingerworks and laptop (iPhone?) screens

Postby jsavidge » 16 Jan 2007, 02:02

Greetings,

I‘ve had a severe case of procrastination, but with the announcement of the iPhone, I figure I should go ahead and post the emails that were related to when Frank Lytle (VP, Sales and Marketing at Fingerworks,) and their local rep Bart Turner visited me at my office.

As a reminder, I showed them how the Mac PowerBook laptop keyboard could be removed, (and possibly replaced,) and how the Fingerworks Numpad could track my hand’s movements through the LCD on the PowerBook.

Here is his email to me after the meeting:

Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 09:38:14 -0500
From: Frank Lytle <fingerworks>
Subject:
To: jsavidge@....com
Cc: Bart Turner <jayb>

James,

It was a pleasure meeting with you last week and thank you for your
good suggestions.

Here are the answers too your questions.

There is no minimum quantity for purchasing custom key boards with
buttons. The cost is in the set up charges. We can supply a custom
reverse silk screen surface that reflects the items you want on the pad.
There are design fees involved and minimum quantities, just for the
surface. We estimate these charges will be about $2,500 to $3,000 and
can narrow down the figure once we know exactly what is desired on the
surface. This cost will provide about 1,000 custom surfaces. If more
are needed, the cost is just material and printing and that does not
involve a large amount of money; less than $500 per 1,000.

If you want to proceed with this process please advise me and I will
have somebody from the factory get in touch with you.

Out or off gassing---The factory says this problem will be the same as
any key board because the plastic materials are the same. I have
requested more information because three different plastic type
materials are used and they come from three different suppliers. The
suppliers need to call their suppliers to get the answers so this could
take some time to get the correct answers. The sensor and integrated
circuit boards also do some off or out gassing and this may pose a
bigger problem for getting answers due to the variety of products and
materials in these boards.

I am wondering how important an issue is this, if the boards are just in
a clean room like existing key boards and computers. I am pursuing the
answers you requested but don't know where to stop. Please give me some
guidance here.

Custom gestures are readily available. Thousands can be had and it is
just a matter of working with the factory to establish the standards
etc. There is some cost here but we won't know what it is until after
we have discussions and establish parameters etc. The costs are not
large because it just involves modification and customization of
existing methods and chording.

Thank you for placing an order with us. You will enjoy gesturing because
it is fast, easy and fun. Initially take some time to learn basic
movements and chording and remember to relax the fingers and arms. Most
people become familiar after two hours of gesturing and usually it is
instinctive after one or two days.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

Best Regards,

Frank


(My reply continued in the next thread posting ...)

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Re: Fingerworks and laptop (iPhone?) screens

Postby jsavidge » 16 Jan 2007, 02:06

( ... continuing from my previous posting ... )

Here is what I said in reply:

Subject: Re: Cleanroom usage
From: "James T. Savidge" <jsavidge>
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002 14:36:58 -0600

To: Frank Lytle <fingerworks>

Greetings,

Frank Lytle wrote:

> It was a pleasure meeting with you last week and thank you for your good suggestions.
>

Likewise.

> There is no minimum quantity for purchasing custom key boards with buttons. The cost is in the set up charges. ...
>
> If you want to proceed with this process please advise me and I will have somebody from the factory get in touch with you.
>

Thanks for the info. I've passed it on to other people here so I can get some feedback from them.

> Out or off gassing---The factory says this problem will be the same as any key board because the plastic materials are the same. I have requested more information because three different plastic type materials are used and they come from three different suppliers. The suppliers need to call their suppliers to get the answers so this could take some time to get the correct answers. The sensor and integrated circuit boards also do some off or out gassing and this may pose a bigger problem for getting answers due to the variety of products and materials in these boards.
>
> I am wondering how important an issue is this, if the boards are just in a clean room like existing key boards and computers. I am pursuing the answers you requested but dont know where to stop. Please give me some guidance here.
>

If the out gassing is comparable to standard keyboards, that is probably all our customers will want to know. If the out gassing were to become a bigger issue, other approaches could be taken to reduce the problem. [Someone here suggested the possibility of encasing the pads in Glass.]

As it is, the lack of moving, potentially breakable parts should be a good selling point.

> Custom gestures are readily available. Thousands can be had and it is just a matter of working with the factory to establish the standards etc. There is some cost here but we wont know what it is until after we have discussions and establish parameters etc. The costs are not large because it just involves modification and customization of existing methods and chording.
>

The use of this type of security will require some more research into how acceptable it is to our industry. I'll pass along any info that I can from what I find out over the next few months.

> Thank you for placing an order with us. You will enjoy gesturing because it is fast, easy and fun. Initially take some time to learn basic movements and chording and remember to relax the fingers and arms. Most people become familiar after two hours of gesturing and usually it is instinctive after one or two days.
>

I'm looking forward to it.

James T. Savidge, [jsavidge@....com], Friday, November 29, 2002


(My passing on of the information in the next thread posting ...)

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