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Apple has filed a patent (number 20120243153) for a "device foot" with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. A moveable device foot for an electronic device is described, such as that on the Magic Trackpad.
The device foot can include a rigid weight bearing member and a flexible sealing member that is integrally formed with the weight bearing member. The device foot can be formed using a double-shot injection molding process. The weight bearing member of the foot can be mounted to an interior portion of the electronic device such that it extends through an external casing of the electronic device.
The flexible sealing member can be mounted to the external casing to seal the interior of the electronic device. During operation of the electronic device, the device foot can be configured to move relative to the external casing, such as in response to an external force applied to the electronic device.
Here's Apple's background on the invention: "Most consumer electronic devices include a touch-based interface of some type, such as a key board, a touch screen, moveable buttons or the like. For touch-based interfaces with moveable components, a user's experience can be affected by feedback generated during actuation of the moveable component, such as a resistance to movement, a smoothness of the movement and a range of movement.
"Typically, users find certain combinations of touch-based feedback more pleasing to the touch than other combinations. In addition, from a visual stand point, users often find compact and sleek designs more aesthetically appealing. Sleek and compact designs that are visually appealing tend to have compact enclosures that leave little room for a wide range of movement associated with touch-based interface components."
The inventors are Erik A. Uttermann, Rico Zorkendorfer and Andrew Lauder.
Also appearing today at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office are:
° Patent number 20120246593 for a method generating section dividers that remain visible when the section to which they correspond has been scrolled off the display;
° Patent number 20120246240 for enabling a user to obtain additional information pertaining to a set of media content that is currently being presented to the user;
° Patent number 20120243783 for red-eye removal using multiple recognition channels;
° Patent number 20120243748 for methods and an apparatus for concealing sensors and other components of electronic devices;
° Patent number 20120242852 for gesture-based configuration of image processing techniques;
° Patent number 20120242672 for fast queries in a multhreaded queue of a graphics system.