updated 03:00 pm EDT, Thu April 26, 2007
LG Dual Touchscreen Patent
LG has published a pair of US patents that may affect Apple's ability to produce future iPhone designs. The first, titled "Mobile Communication Terminal Having Multiple Displays," would take the exclusively touchscreen-driven interface of the Apple handset and LG's own Prada and convert it to clamshell form. A second touchscreen would replace the conventional keypad, according to the patent. The change would not only allow a more dynamic finger- or stylus-based interface that could use either display, but could let data elements swap between screens.
A second patent may also reflect future interface elements in LG phones as well as choices by Apple, Samsung, and other companies with touchscreen phones. Described as a "Mobile terminal providing graphic user interface," the software patent would have icons move and react to user input. Menu options could change position based on the current context and could react to input beyond direct selections, such as a missed input that moves icons closer together.
This extra interface could also have DVD-style transitions involving the icons, LG says, such as an interface element "eating" mail as it appears and spawning new choices in visual form. Such a technique would help provide a frame of reference for newcomers to phones or simply to improve the presentation for media-friendly devices.
While both patents are theoretical and have yet to be implemented or hinted at in the Prada phone or similar devices from the Korean company, either will force LG's competitors to develop alternatives if they wish to use similar technology in their handsets. [via Unwired View]
Mobile terminal providing graphic user interface