Patents reveal Apple might be working on a hand gesture technology that would interact with games, TVs and what not

The main patent image shows a scheme of the different components of the hand gesturing interface.

The main patent image shows a scheme of the different components of the hand gesturing interface.


The USPTO has published an Apple-owned patent this Thursday, describing an interface that would allow users to control electronic devices through hand gestures. While the patent images do not reveal anything interesting about the claimed technology, beyond a circuit scheme for the interface, the document makes a specific mention of exciting intended uses, namely: controlling computer games, consoles and home appliances, interacting with DVD, VCR or TV setups. Are we in the Avatar age or what?

Of course, a published patent is no guarantee that such an invention will ever see light, but at least provides some rough guidance as to what Apple might be working on.

Developing a smoothly working hand gesture reading technology could be a massive thing for Cupertino and would take its expansion into AR/VR to a whole new level. The text of the recent patent specifically outlines that gesture recognition has been a tough one for developers of related tech, as it’s difficult to tell which of a user’s gestures are intended commands and which are random hand flings.

In this regard, the described interface would be able to utilize infrared depth mapping that segments a user’s body and tracks every gesture. It is not entirely clear whether or what additional hardware support the interface might need, but there are mentions of a sensor glove or another hand-held sensor. However, the movement identifier ‘may comprise also other devices’, which we can’t help but daydream on, because we have already had some indirect hints of possible future Apple products.

Apple patented a Kinect-like gesture reading device last year, while the company recently acquired an enterprise that develops eye-tracking technology. Apart from this, Apple has had another invention patented this last week, which also relates to 3D mapping and ‘interactive gaming’, and may find application in smart glasses. Therefore, the latest patented interface could potentially interact with an array of gadgets, beyond the common household and gaming devices, but we can’t know when or if this will take place.

source: USPTO via PatentlyApple

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9 Comments

1. nikhil23

Posts: 414; Member since: Dec 07, 2016

off topic.. I like the way this site reports stuff about apple and non apple devices. X company showed a prototype: meh. might not make it to mainstream devices. Apple patents something: It can do amazing thingss

2. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3086; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Agreed. HTC M8's dual camera : gimmick. IPhone 7 plus's dual camera: there is a good reason for that. HTC U11 pressure sensors are cons according to PA because it is "over engineered" while the force touch feature in the iPhone is innovative.

7. audibot

Posts: 577; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

didnt apple fans make fun of samsung users when samsung added hand gestures

3. gigicoaste

Posts: 429; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

wow!! amazing!! ultra mega... what? another patent for something which is already implemented in many devices on the market? Is now even in cars as HU controller.. just incredible.. bottom line.. is not dumb the one who "sales" but the one who "pays" for it!

4. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 983; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

So Apple is following in Microsoft's footsteps by attempting to make body control a thing on TVs

5. ibend2

Posts: 159; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

just like what samsung's smart TV did for years? innovation.. /s

6. airoid

Posts: 122; Member since: Dec 13, 2016

Nintendo did it for years

8. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Apple patenting existing stuffs, as usual.

9. domfonusr

Posts: 1020; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

You all laugh at Apple for doing this, but you had better watch out... Apple is gonna clean house with this sort of thing, and not many competitors are gonna be left at some point. Apple knows how to do this sort of thing really really well, so their chances of success are astronomically high. I hope Google finishes their work on Fuschia sooner rather than later, as they're gonna need an edge to hang on to when Apple comes a-callin'.

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