Microsoft files patent for skin sensing bezel, Surface says hello

Microsoft has filed for a patent that allows a device to understand where your hands are located and then augment the display based on this information. The image, shown above, shows a tablet with skin sensors placed within the bezel of the device that would help the tablet know where your hands are located to display a touch based keyboard or other elements.

It’s not hard to imagine how Microsoft could use this technology with the Surface. As the image below shows, if the tablet knows where your hands are located, it could display a split-thumb keyboard where your thumbs are positioned, instead of a default position at the bottom of the screen.

The patent application is titled “Grip-Based Device Adaptations” and was originally filed on 5/20/2013 with a publication date of 11/14/2013.

If Microsoft could successfully implement this type of technology into the Surface, it could help to offer yet another defining feature not offered by competitors made by Apple, Google or Amazon. Of course, that also means that they can find a use for the feature that significantly improves the user experience too or else the implementation would likely not be used by consumers.

We will be curious to see what Microsoft does with this type of technology as it makes use of an area on a tablet that typically adds no value, the bezel. If they can find a way to make use of this dead space, it could help to build-upon Surface’s unique set of attributes.

Source: Freepatentsonline.com | Via @h0x0d

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Well.. mine shuts down the glance screen if its in my pocket.. So I think its already there.

How can you see it happen if it's in your pocket? I sense witchcraft at work.

Relativity_17 said,

How can you see it happen if it's in your pocket? I sense witchcraft at work.


quite easily actually, place ur finger over the proximity sensor and whooshka!! Magic...

Crimson Rain said,
Nice idea.

I would love to have a "pocket sensing" lumia


my Nokia E5-00 (symbian) has a sensor at the top front, it helps turn off the keypad light during the day, and whenever im on a call and the phone is close to/touching my ear.

Ad Man Gamer said,
I thought that the Lumia line of phones already did this. They use the light sensor in the front of the screen to detect when the phone is in your pocket or facing down, so it can power off the screen when it knows that you are not looking at it, and turns it back on for the glimpse view feature.

It doesn't. Here is the issue:

You have your phone in the pocket and listening to music. Call comes in, receive it using headphone, end the call after done talking. The screen stays on for awhile and WILL trigger random tiles etc if you are walking.

Wapoz said,
Works exactly as you described on my 920. It's one of my favorite features, that and double tap to wake

If you are talking about pocket issue, see above.

fwiw, I have used a L920 for ~10 months and now using L1020.

tjoe4u said,

my Nokia E5-00 (symbian) has a sensor at the top front, it helps turn off the keypad light during the day, and whenever im on a call and the phone is close to/touching my ear.

It is called proximity sensor. All lumias have it and it mostly works as it should except the pocket-call issue and older L920's dust-in-proximity-sensor issue.

Crimson Rain said,
You have your phone in the pocket and listening to music. Call comes in, receive it using headphone, end the call after done talking. The screen stays on for awhile and WILL trigger random tiles etc if you are walking.

It's true, the super sensitive display works through pockets (like through gloves). If your phone is not locked it will trigger touches. I'm surprised the proximity sensor doesn't take care of that.

Crimson Rain said,

It doesn't. Here is the issue:

You have your phone in the pocket and listening to music. Call comes in, receive it using headphone, end the call after done talking. The screen stays on for awhile and WILL trigger random tiles etc if you are walking.


If you are talking about pocket issue, see above.

fwiw, I have used a L920 for ~10 months and now using L1020.

*shrugs* I've never had the problem you state, nor have the 2 other 920 owners in my house. Glance works perfectly for me. Turns on when I take it out my pocket, and turns off when I put it back in my pocket. I always have it facing my thigh as well.

Wapoz said,

*shrugs* I've never had the problem you state, nor have the 2 other 920 owners in my house. Glance works perfectly for me. Turns on when I take it out my pocket, and turns off when I put it back in my pocket. I always have it facing my thigh as well.


Well my 920 has the issue he described. It is a well known problem with the first batches of 920s; later ones do not have it because Nokia fixed.

deadonthefloor said,

This is correct.
My solution for people is place the device in pocket, screen facing away from body.
I just always make sure it's locked. I also turned off the sensitive screen feature to avoid any problems. Haven't had one since.

Fritzly said,

Well my 920 has the issue he described. It is a well known problem with the first batches of 920s; later ones do not have it because Nokia fixed.

That sucks, any chance of getting it resolved under warranty? Everyone in my family who owns one bought one a few months after launch and they love it to death. It's been rock solid and problem free for us.

MrHumpty said,

It's true, the super sensitive display works through pockets (like through gloves). If your phone is not locked it will trigger touches. I'm surprised the proximity sensor doesn't take care of that.

It has nothing to do with super sensitive touch. FWIW, I keep that disabled cause I don't need it. Saves some battery afaik.

Wapoz said,

*shrugs* I've never had the problem you state, nor have the 2 other 920 owners in my house. Glance works perfectly for me. Turns on when I take it out my pocket, and turns off when I put it back in my pocket. I always have it facing my thigh as well.


It has nothing to do with Glance. Read the issue description. Issue dates back to 10 month before...glance didn't even exist back then.


The issue is, from my understanding, WP8 itself. It doesn't turn off the display (and touch) when the call is managed using headphone accessory and proximity sensor is "positive."

Crimson Rain said,

It has nothing to do with super sensitive touch. FWIW, I keep that disabled cause I don't need it. Saves some battery afaik.

It has nothing to do with Glance. Read the issue description. Issue dates back to 10 month before...glance didn't even exist back then.

The issue is, from my understanding, WP8 itself. It doesn't turn off the display (and touch) when the call is managed using headphone accessory and proximity sensor is "positive."

I never use headphone accessories to manage calls. Yet, it always happened until I turned off super sensitive display. I've only had a 1020 (I was on a Titan and 8x previously). I've always had glance. Anyway, my issue is absolutely due to super sensitive display as, since disabling it, I never have this problem except with very, very thin pocket cloth.

MrHumpty said,
I never use headphone accessories to manage calls. Yet, it always happened until I turned off super sensitive display. I've only had a 1020 (I was on a Titan and 8x previously). I've always had glance. Anyway, my issue is absolutely due to super sensitive display as, since disabling it, I never have this problem except with very, very thin pocket cloth.

If you have super sensitive on *and* double tap to wake up on, yes it could happen. I have both turned off.

ZipZapRap said,
Okay fig 6 is a bit lame, but I'm keen to see where they can take this

Only because you didn't see it in relation to Fig. 6A and 6C.
Then it makes sense.

The six series of figures remind me of something the Swype guys are doing for tablet input.....

May be Apple can offer, Author must know that MS and Apple have lifetime patent exchange bond. Either can use the other ones technology/patents without an issue.

its annoying when a tablet changes orientation just by tilting the device, having it based on your hand positions is a better plan so this is a great idea

Won't do me any good as I don't thumb-type. If I need to type more than a few characters, I type with both hands; this is what the kickstand is for. Or a USB keyboard.

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