There is a reason why the Apple Watch has a screen lock feature when you’re swimming. This is because when a touchscreen display is wet, it sometimes doesn’t register your touch or it can sometimes react rather bizarrely. Of course, this doesn’t always happen but when it does, it can be a bit annoying to use.
However, AppleInsider has come across a patent filed by Apple in which it suggests that a future iPhone or iPad might have a touchscreen that works even when the user’s hands are wet or if there is water on the display. The patent is dubbed “Fingerprint-assistant force estimation” and it works by using pressure to determine whether or not a touch on the screen is either an intended touch or an accidental one.
According to the patent, “[Fingerprint] contact with the touch surface is used to determine the amount of force applied. That is, how well the fingerprint is wetted to the touch surface is interpreted as an applied force.” The patent also talks about how if a screen can detect how damp/wet the person’s finger is, it can better calibrate it for touch.
It might seem like a rather novel patent because like we said, it’s not that often that we interact with our phones while it’s wet or if our hands are wet, plus a quick wipe down with a shirt or towel solves that problem. However, it seems more like a quality of life upgrade that we wouldn’t mind seeing if it ever gets made.