Apple busy working on 3D gesturing controls
Apple is busy filing patents for innovative 3D controls that could, if they ever see the light of day, really stir things up in the tablet and smartphone markets
Apple has filed a patent for a new type of 3D gesture control. It won’t be coming to the iPhone 5, or the iPad 3 in all likelihood, but it’s under development all the same – and it looks very, very cool.
The scoop comes via Patently Apple, which reported the following:
‘On July 7, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals various concepts behind newly advanced 3D gesturing that will apply to CAD applications for product and gaming developers as well as for consumers.’
One of the gestures, says the report, uses both the device’s proximity sensor and touch panel, which will, in theory, allow users to register gestures in 3D.
‘For example,’ says Engadget, ‘you could use three fingers to mark out the corners of a triangle on the screen and then "pull up" and pinch to create a pyramid for use in a CAD application.’
Of course, the benefits and possibilities of this type of control are massive - both in terms of gaming, design and for general navigation purposes.
And if you think that sounds cool, wait until you hear about Apple’s proposed ‘physics metaphors,’ which will literally allow you to pour one app from your iPhone straight into your iPad. There’ll be no need for wires, Syncing, or anything. It’s essentially contactless-data sharing – think HP’s Touch to Share feature, sans actual contact.
There’s no word on when any of this will actually be hitting the markets, although we don’t expect to be seeing it anytime soon – maybe the iPad 4? It would certainly be something of a USP and one that Apple will no doubt be keen to get out of the bag, so to speak.
All in all, very interesting stuff. Let's just hope Apple doesn’t sit on it for too long.