When Apple removed the 3D Touch from the iPhone 11, users made do without it and adapted to the Haptic Touch. However, some are nostalgic for 3D Touch. Apple’s latest patent released a few days ago should delight them, as it looks like the feature is making a comeback.

The 3D Touch is an innovation from Apple that arrived as a feature on the iPhone 6s and has remained until the sort ofiPhone 11. For four years, from 2015 to 2019, users were able to familiarize themselves with this new technology. Another version of the 3D Touch even appeared on the Apple Watch: the Force Touch.

The 3D Touch functionality offered an additional level of user interaction, adding pressure sensitivity to the iPhone screen. If the user pressed harder on a link, they previewed the website, and if they pressed even harder, the page opened. This mechanism was called “Peek and Pop” and many users loved it.

Users can therefore hope for a return of 3D Touch on the new generation of iPhone which should be unveiled this fall.

It is true that theHaptic Touch used the same codes somewhat, replacing the different pressure levels with the duration of the screen pressure (long or short). Apple’s new patent, revealed by Patently Apple, explains in part why the company removed this feature: “Components that detect pressure on an interface surface of a touch-sensitive component can use networks of complex and expensive sensors to extend this functionality to the entire surface. These arrays can also occupy a large space inside the electronic device, thereby potentially increasing its size or reducing the space available for components providing additional functionality ”.

So that the 3D Touch can make a comeback, Apple would like to use a technology called a pressure drop sensor. It is a name that may seem strange at first, but Apple explains how it works: “In some cases, the detection of the pressure exerted on an interface surface can be carried out using a decay sensor. pressure. This sensor is relatively small and inexpensive. This frees up more space for additional functionality or larger components. The pressure decay sensor can detect an increase in pressure related to a slight deformation of the interface surface when pressure is applied, or the rate of pressure decay.

Does the existence of this patent mean that the 3D Touch will make a comeback on the next iPhone? Everything seems to indicate it, indeed. This patent was published just a few days ago (March 11, 2021) and it was first filed two years ago, on December 9, 2019, three months after the launch of theiPhone 11. Users can therefore expect a return of the 3D Touch on the new generation of iPhones expected to be unveiled this fall.

Article translated from Forbes US – Author: David Phelan

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