AppleInsider is reporting that Apple has been granted a patent titled – Curved Touch Sensor (U.S. Patent No. 8,603,574) by the USPTO today. According to the patent describes manufacturing technique that produces accurate, curved touch surfaces without deficiencies caused by substrate warping or deformation, the report said.
Abstract of the Invention:
A method of forming a curved touch surface is disclosed. The method can include depositing and patterning a conductive thin film on a flexible substrate to form at least one touch sensor pattern, while the flexible substrate is in a flat state. According to certain embodiments, the method can include supporting the flexible substrate in the flat state on at least one curved forming substrate having a predetermined curvature; and performing an anneal process, or an anneal-like high-heat process, on the conductive thin film, wherein the anneal process can cause the flexible substrate to conform to the predetermined curvature of the at least one curved forming substrate. According to an embodiment, the curved forming substrate can include a first forming substrate having a first predetermined curvature and a second forming substrate having a second predetermined curvature complementing the first predetermined curvature
The patent also specific that this invention can be use in displays, touch pads and touch mice, among other devices. Both Samsung and LG have released smartphones featuring curved display this year. It’s not clear whether Apple intends to go down this path.
The patent was patent was first filed for in 2010 and credits Lili Huang, Seung Jae Hong and John Z. Zhong as its inventors, according to the report.