After covering Motorola's multi-layer LCD solar display, Ericsson's recently issued patent adds a feature in yet another direction: a multiple layered display. Ericsson has thought up a number of applications to fit more onto that tiny screen by layering the information.
Apple may be the company to do something like this justice, and after the jump you'll see just how much work has already been done.
Ericsson's technology builds upon the Asulab's invention of multiple displays where one is superimposed on another, blocking vision of the second display.
Ericsson's concept envisions using this technology as a way to ensure content or messages are being shown to the right user as a primary benefit. Ericsson's original application sought a number of broader methods beyond using the surface layer as a means to shield the second screen, further designs and descriptions highlight using the surface layer as an interactive medium to enter text, see text on maps/images, etc. As you'll see, Ericsson's ideas had history.
, some context to the invention becomes more clear, albeit a bit messy in appearance. In using a small screen for data entry, like the iPhone will be attacking shortly, the need for a superimposed keyboard has value ergonomically. Hitting the right keys would seem to be an issue, discussed in Ericsson's design, and covered by an IBM technology.
An initial button or series of buttons of the application that the user is using is configured to sense the location where the user is touching. These initial button(s) are called adjusting buttons. The button sensing regions for the remaining buttons (non-adjusting buttons) are calibrated from these initial touched locations.
While a second or multiple layered displays to execute this kind of concept may not be necessary, the idea that doing more on a little PDA/cell phone screen may just be reaching a tipping point.