Feeds

Apple gets patent for ‘unlock gesture’

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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… ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
Bentley found in a hedge gets WW2 lump insertion
What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
You fought hard and you saved and earned. But all of it's going to burn...
Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
Stylish Googlephones for not-so-deep pockets
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.