A published report from the Nikkei Business Publications has noted Japan’s Hitachi Displays has developed a projection-type touch panel which is capable of detecting insulators such as plastic and cloth. This is currently only a prototype design, but it means that devices could be operated while wearing gloves.

This is big news for users who live in the colder climates. Being able to use your device when you want to and not having to wait until you are back indoors would be a definite advantage.

This new touch technology could find its way into next generation 2011 iOS devices, which could bring a whole new wave of development for apps.

Current panel prototypes range from 3 to 10 inches in size, like Apple’s current lines of iOS based devices. Because Apple is a dominant leader in this field, we can hope that this technology will come sooner rather than later. Apple has had granted a patent that includes the ability to use a light pen with a device, so it could mean that this is a direction they are already developing.

This patent could see Apple adding a few more tricks to its current range of iOS devices.

Apple is pretty explicit about their lack of interest in a stylus to accompany their devices, but this is a laser and not technically the same.

If they decide to go this route, I can see it being especially useful for businesses, where users would be able to use it for contract transactions where documents need a signature or payment for goods. This could mean a new wave of users for Apple. Also, if they add the technology where you can use it with gloves, there would be a lot of happy folks, especially in those colder climates.

Can you ever imagine a day where Apple will have a stylus accompany their iPhones? Would you use this? Do you currently use a stylus with your device? Would being able to use gloves with touch devices make your life just that little bit easier?

Article Via Patently Apple

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