With this patent and the one filed last week, Apple's got more force sensitivity than Luke and Darth combined. The latest one, titled "Force and Location Sensitive Display," detects both where your finger is and how hard you're pressing down on a display. Skipping over the technical details of how this is done, the end result is that you've got a possible touchscreen portable device that can tell you that you're pushing down on it too hard. When you combine these two patents together, you get the indication that Apple's definitely working on either advancing the touchscreen in iPhones or a touchscreen tablet/laptop. [Apple Insider]
iPhone 2.0 ...
the clear problem with using a touch-screen keyboard, is that in normal usage, you lay your fingers on the keys then push down when you want to type. The iPhone & touch keyboards suck to use because you need to hold your fingers up and peck at the buttons (instead of an "active press" it's an "active non-press" and 90% of the time, you're not pressing with atleast 1 thumb).
This improvement would increase the usability of the current (painful) touch keyboard by a ridiculous amount. As evil as Apple may be for closing their handheld devices to a free SDK, their ingenuity & willingness to take risks is impressive.
The implications in keyboard improvements alone are staggering, not to mention adding to their repertoire of sensors to harvest innovation in applications not just usability.