Feeds

Apple gets patent for ‘unlock gesture’

Jobs slides back the granite slab for one more whack at Android

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

A US Patent granted today (October 25) will send Google and Android phone makers around the world reaching for their lawyers.

Patent 8,046,721 is quite dull, but all-embracing in that special way that patents have become in America: “A device with a touch-sensitive display may be unlocked via gestures performed on the touch-sensitive display. The device is unlocked if contact with the display corresponds to a predefined gesture for unlocking the device. The device displays one or more unlock images with respect to which the predefined gesture is to be performed in order to unlock the device. The performance of the predefined gesture with respect to the unlock image may include moving the unlock image to a predefined location and/or moving the unlock image along a predefined path. The device may also display visual cues of the predefined gesture on the touch screen to remind a user of the gesture.”

Read it again if you need to, but to The Register’s admittedly non-lawyer eyes, it looks like this. If you:

• Unlock a device using a gesture on a touch-sensitive display;

• Display an icon telling punters they have to unlock the device;

• Design the icon to tell users which direction they have to swipe the icon to unlock the device; or

• Provide visual cues for users too dumb to remember the unlock gesture;

…then you’d be breaching the patent.

While The Register can’t speak for every single Android phone or tablet in the world – not to mention other flavours of device – the one’s we can immediately call to mind use unlock gestures pretty much like the ones described in this patent.

Here, for readers’ enjoyment, is one of the illustrations accompanying the patent.

Let the fun begin… ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.