Following a slightly unbelievable rumor suggesting Apple is, like LG and Samsung, planning a curved phone, a new patent suggests Apple is looking at pressure-sensitive touchscreens for future iPhones and iPads.
The patent, called "Touch-sensitive button with two levels," describes a touch-sensitive button similar to the iPhone's home button. This has neat implications for commanding the iPhone via different pressure gestures on the home button.
A practical upshot of this is that Apple could, if it put the system in place in an upcoming iPhone, enable really smart pressure-controlled user interface elements. For example, to confirm you want to delete a photo you may have to press hard on the screen--meaning accidental deletions would be less likely. It could also enable a whole host of really clever apps that we can't imagine yet--uses in fitness apps perhaps, or smart controls for games. That would differentiate the iPhone in an increasingly monotonous smartphone market.
[Image: Flickr user Shona Tennille]