Generally speaking, capacitive touchscreens respond by judging the presence or absence of a touch and the size of the touch. According to reports, this patent is distinguishable when wet screen suffered accidental and intentional touch operation using pressure.
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This sounds a bit like the evolution of the iPhone 3D Touch function. It regards the water contaminated on the screen as a force, and correctly responds to touch operations by judging the difference in the force exerted by the finger and the water on the screen.
The Apple patent can also judge the humidity of the fingers based on the difference between the user’s pressing force and the surrounding water. So it can better adapt to people with sweaty hands.
“For example, in humid conditions, ridges and valleys of fingerprints may be more malleable and may provide better contact whereas dry conditions may lead to the opposite results,” it says. Although it also notes that regardless of environmental conditions, “certain users may have sweaty, moist or wet hands that may provide better wetting while others may have dry hands.”
However, we should admit that this is not the first time Apple is trying to make touchscreens more usable in damp conditions. We mean the Cupertino-based company has previously applied for, and subsequently been granted, a pair patents to do with “finger tracking in wet environment.”