Today a new Apple patent emerged to address the issues associated with disconnecting a hard drive or USB drive before it has been officially unmounted from the system’s OS. You’ve probably had this experience when you’ve unplugged your external hard drive from your computer before ‘ejecting’ it and a warning window has popped up stating that some data may have been lost or corrupted. In my experience losing data is rare, but possible nonetheless as the computer may still be writing to the drive and physically unmounting it could disrupt the data transfer. In fact, some of you might have even had this warning after officially ejecting the drive since data can still be transferred seconds after the procedure is initiated.
To address this problem Apple’s latest patent suggests a touch sensitive system that detects a touch or impending touch and prepares the drive for dismount. Although this plays fair and well with hard drives and USB flash drive, perhaps this is a better indication of things to come from Apple, such as a removable touchscreen, or should I say rumored Apple Tablet computer. This makes sense if they consider a setup much like the Touch Book, where the keyboard can be removed from the screen and might contain more hard drive space or other data sensitive operations. Yeah, I’m going out on a limb, but since we’re all anxiously waiting for a touchscreen Macbook, why the hell not?
Summary: A portable device configured for engaging to a host system can be operable to generate a signal when the device is touched by a user or when the portable device detects an impending touch by the user. Responsive to the signal, the host system automatically initiates one or more operations related to disengaging the portable device from the host system. In some aspects, the portable device can be electrically, optically, electromechanically and/or mechanically engaged and/or disengaged to a host system.
These features allow a user to disconnect the portable device from the host system more quickly, and also prevents data corruption due to failure of the user to follow proper procedures.