About three weeks after Apple was awarded a patent for “Slide to Unlock” by the USPTO, Google has received its own patent for an unlocking mechanism. Google has been awarded a patent for Android’s pattern unlock feature.
The patent, Titled “Touch Gesture Actions From A Device’s Lock Screen,” describes the feature as follows:
“A lock screen view is displayed on the mobile device to prevent unauthorized and inadvertent access to the mobile device’s data. While the mobile device is locked, a touch gesture having a pre-defined shape is detected on a touch screen of the mobile device independently of the initial position of the touch gesture on the touch screen.”
The patent goes on to give potential clues for possible new Android features. It details custom gestures which can be drawn anywhere on the screen, allowing an end user to access certain functions without explicitly unlocking the device. An example Google gives is to mute the device while not having to pull it out of your pocket.
The patent continues:
“In response to detection of the touch gesture, a particular action is executed on the mobile device while the mobile device stays locked. The particular action determined according to the pre-defined shape. In this way, detection of the touch gesture causes the particular action to execute while keeping the mobile device locked.”