Patent Details Apple Watch’s Digital Crown & Input Friction Mechanism

An Apple patent application published recently by the European Patent Office has revealed the Cupertino giant’s invention related to the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown, as well as an input Friction Mechanism that provides the Digital Crown with its haptic feedback and more, PatentlyApple is reporting. The filing notes that the invention relates to inputs of electronic devices, especially rotary inputs used with electronic devices such as the Apple Watch.

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Apple’s filing states that such a digital crown or rotary control input could apply to future devices including mobile devices, mobile phones, tablet computers, music and multi-media players, among other devices. In one embodiment, Apple calls it an apparatus for an electronic device that provides haptic feedback by controlling an application of friction to a rotary input control with a shaft. It may include a spring bar member positioned adjacent to the shaft, which engages the shaft and applies haptic feedback in the form of a frictional force to the shaft.

“In one example, the movable tension member is positioned about a midpoint along a length of the spring bar member, and the spring bar member has a first end and a second end, wherein both first and second ends are fixed. The spring bar member may be elongated with a generally flat profile, and may be made of various materials such as metal. In one example, the apparatus may include a motor coupled with the movable tension member, wherein the motor controllably moves the movable tension member towards or away from the spring bar member. The motor may be a stepper motor”.

Apple’s original international patent filing was made in Q4 2013 and made public today.