Apple working on a motion and gesture controlled 3D GUI for iOS

Apple working on a motion and gesture controlled 3D GUI for iOS
This morning the US Patent & Trademark Office published a new patent application from Apple based on creating a new 3D GUI for iOS. Based on the direction the industry is heading, there will be more than enough processing power to sufficiently render a 3D GUI. The issue, that Apple points out in its patent applications, is navigating a 3D landscape with one hand, because the majority of the time one hand is designated to holding the device, while the other is used to navigate the interface.

Apple has submitted a solution to this problem. It suggests enabling the user to use the device as an imaginary viewfinder.  The device would use orientation data from onboard sensors to determine its position and allow users to look around their digital world. This idea, in function anyway, seems reminiscent of the technology used in Yelp mobile apps’ Monocle feature.

The Cupertino giant also stated, “In some implementations, the display environment could be changed based on gestures made a distance above a touch sensitive display that incorporates proximity sensor arrays.” This suggests the possibility of some sort of to-go version of Kinect meets Minority Report, which admittedly, would be pretty cool.

Finally, Apple introduced the idea of a “Snap To” feature that enables the 3D environment to lock into place, when an action or gesture occurs, to allow the user to interact with the items within the environment.

source: Patently Apple via Apple Insider



1. iKingTrust

Posts: 716; Member since: Jul 27, 2011


2. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

I like Star Wars a lot, but people are going to look like stupid Jedis doing mind tricks waving their hands over the front of their iPhones to do a back gesture in the browser...

3. ilia1986 unregistered

What? In English please.

5. Timoh

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 12, 2012

Wow something apple is trying to patent that was developed on android.

6. ghost__uwi

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 28, 2011

just because u now saw it, does not mean it was not in the oven for a while just saying .

7. Timoh

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 12, 2012

The same can be said for the other direction. The patent system in the us is first to file now though not first to invent. If it had been in the works for a while they would have filed it a long time ago and kept it under wraps like they have done in the past with other patents. It seems more likely they see the pantech being released soon and want people to think they thought of gesture control first. Also, while not technically a UI, live wallpapers on android have been simulating 3D with the sensors and device position for well over a year now.

13. stealthd unregistered

The patent system in the US is still first to invent until 2013, then the new law goes into effect. Also patents get published 18 months after they're filed, so this wasn't something they just came up with.

11. -RVM-

Posts: 331; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

12. Timoh

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 12, 2012

Thanks for that. Makes it even worse.

8. dinzle

Posts: 21; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

It looks a lot like BumpTop to me which google bought a couple years ago and has done nothing with. it is this minus the non touch hand gestures. i have it on my computer and is really convenient to use

9. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 2010

Great, something else for people to do with their phone while driving.... Can we please perfect voice control before we move on to gesture control?

10. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

Looks very cool!

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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