Ever since Apple launched the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus with 3D Touch, a lot of the talk in the mobile world has been focused on this feature. Alternatively called Force Touch in Apple’s MacBooks, it lets different pressure levels applied to a touchscreen (or trackpad) correspond to different software actions. We’ve recently heard that Synaptics is working on brining just such a feature to Android, and that Samsung could be using that solution itself for the Galaxy S7.
Now though a patent application that’s just been made public by the Korean Intellectual Property Office reveals that Samsung has at least been considering such an idea since April 2014. That’s when this filing was registered, and it basically describes a way to have different software outcomes depending on how hard a user is pressing down the screen.
The pressure is measured through the corresponding voltage. So up until a certain threshold, if you touch the “a” key on the software keyboard, you’ll get the lowercase letter, while if you press harder on the same key you’ll see the uppercase “A” pop up. Another example has one key act as a space bar if it’s pressed lightly, or Tab if it’s pressed more vigorously. Copying text could be just a matter of pressing hard on the “c” key on the keyboard too, Samsung thinks.
What’s unclear is whether Samsung’s gone past the theoretical realm and actually worked on developing its own Force Touch solution since this patent application has been filed. Yet even if it hasn’t, it can undoubtedly make use of Synaptics’ implementation if it really wants something like this to be inside the Galaxy S7.