A new report surfaced today, stating that touching the screen of the iPhone 12 or future iPhones could provide a sensation of texture. The report is based on a recent patent sighting that Apple filed for its future screens. It appears that Apple has found a way to change how a touch-enabled surface can be manipulated to simulate the sensation of different types of materials.

The patent was granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last Tuesday. It is titled "Touch Surface For Simulating Materials," which suggests that a surface could be changed to offer different kinds of sensations that somehow replicate that of various textures. The latest patent mentions the use of actuators, main control unit, and temperature control devices that controls the use of both types of feedback generators on a particular portion of a touch surface.

Apple, which launched its iPhone Xs models , is expected to unveil new handsets which may be branded as iPhone 11
Apple is reportedly preparing iPhone 12 to be an AR-ready device based on the latest patent. AFP / NOAH BERGER

For the actuators, the control unit will utilize it to send sensations to the display in the form of vibration so it could deliver a sensation of texture. The patent also mentions the use of a Peltier device or another temperature control component to simulate the thermal conductivity of any material. For instance, a metal surface could send a cold sensation while the wood table could send a warm sensation.

Based on the implementation, the system could be set to operate in only one region of a touch surface, several areas, or all over the entire surface. In situations where multiple regions are in play, every part could be activated to simulate various materials simultaneously. Additionally, the latest Apple patent suggests that the touch surface could utilize a layer of diamond material, probably using a chemical vapor deposit process, which will deliver intense high thermal conductivity as well as extreme mechanical hardness to the display.

The Apple patent has more immediate applications for touchscreen-enabled devices, and the Cupertino-based tech giant also highlights its usage on the touchpad area of a MacBook in one image. For now, this is just a patent, and Apple might use it for iPhone 12 or future iPhones and other devices, or it can simply drop the idea.