New RIM patent could mean pressure-sensitive passwords are on the way

By Adam Zeis on 25 May 2012 11:18 am EDT
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Pressure Password RIM

It seems like we're hitting a patent a week from RIM as of late, and the newest to hit the wire does not disappoint. Simply titled Pressure Password for a Touchscreen Device, the patent is a pretty sweet one. According to the description, the technology would allow for a pressure-sensitive password of sorts. The device -- equipped with force sensors -- would recognize patterns based on pressure and be able to unlock based on a chose pattern. So think a simple pattern unlock feature but instead of sliding or drawing you would apply pressure to certain areas of the screen. A pretty sweet idea although there's no knowing if it will show up in BlackBerry 10 devices at all.

What do you think? Is this something you'd like to see come to BlackBerry? Let us know in the comments!

Source: USPTO  Via: Engadget

Reader comments

New RIM patent could mean pressure-sensitive passwords are on the way

38 Comments

I was thinking the same thing about the Storm and it's surepress technology. From the drawings it certainly looks to have the sensors in the same spots. Oh how I miss surepress, I may be in the minority but I thought it was the best thing ever.

Sadly, Surepress never landed on Sprint so I never got to own a device with it :( However I've played around with it many times and I thought they nailed it on Storm 2. A Simple menu option to use standard capacitive touch or Surepress touch is all it would take and other than perhaps a weight difference no one would be the wiser :)

Sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen.

Idk I guess I would like to know more about how this exactly works.

I fuggin love my  can't wait for TEN!

This would be good because people could see where you figures are but not know how much pressure you are putting on it

Patents usually take a couple of years to get through the office, so everything we're seeing come through were filed in 2009-2010. Not an indication of present strategy.

this seems nice and all, but kind of redundant...it still requires you to touch the screen at specific points, just as if you were typing in a four digit passcode or something similar.

also, i saw a comment above where " people could see where you figures are but not know how much pressure you are putting on it", if it depends on how much force one uses to correctly enter each point, the sensor would have to start at zero and would scale up as you put more force onto it. you can't instantly put the correct amount of pressure on the screen, you start at zero and it increases as you push more. basically, if the person knows where to touch, they can just push the screen slowly but surely harder until the correct amount of force is placed.

if it was filed 2 years ago, great, but it doesn't seem too useful to me...

Just having force sensors is cool... good for gaming and other apps... they can't patent force sensors, but I guess maybe they were thinking that if they included them in their devices, they could provide this extra password feature and could patent that... if competitor devices released with force sensors as well, they couldn't use the password feature...

This sure does sound like SurePress. That technology is old and was horrible and not so accurate. The elderly would sure despise this feature along with myself. Who really wants to press harder than they should on their new toy?

Great alternative to swipe to unlock!
I can't see this being like surepress. Let's look forward, not back.

Kinda sounded like I was being a bit of a downer there but wasn't really meant to be. I like the ideas about a thumb scan to unlock that is mentioned below and I never owned any of the Storm series but I liked the concept. This just sounds to me like one thing it should've advanced to. Remember, it was very original and innovative. :) Just never caught on I think because the 1st version gave the tech a bad name. So something like this patent sounds very cool to me.

Or it could be just a defensive move to ward of competitors or patent trolls from making life difficult for RIM.

I'm a little worried about the implementation of pressure sensitivity on smartphones that have glass screens. It just sounds like an invitation for cracked displays and worn digitizers.

FINGER PRINT SCAN TO UNLOCK! why has nobody done this yet? just put your thumb on the touchscreen, it scans your thumb print, and unlocks if it matches.............or has someone already done this?

+1 on Finger print scan. I was just typing this thought when I refreshed and saw that you beat me to it. This could morph into fingerprint scan to lock and unlock.

I thought Finger Print Scanning was already available on some laptops now?

I would find touch easier to use. I am 76.

FINGER PRINT SCAN TO UNLOCK! why has nobody done this yet? just put your thumb on the touchscreen, it scans your thumb print, and unlocks if it matches.............or has someone already done this?

actually after i posted, i realized you could even incorporate this new patent, so that way when your screen is off and locked, rather than pressing unlock button, using your thumb you apply pressure on the screen, this wakes up the screen and it automatically scans to unlock the phone, and when your just normally touchign the screen it doesnt unlock it, only with the pressure/thumb scan will it turn on and unlock the screen..

I believe a digital pressure reading should appear on each pressure point when engaged which would be calibrated to display units of let's say 1-10.Not only would it be a combination in itself but your choice of pressure points also. so as to be accurate and very secure...there are already digital scale apps that exist so I believe it will work.Good direction RIM!