back to article Apple touts touch-free perspective-powered 3D tech

Apple patents aren't always an indicator of the tech just around the corner, but it doesn't stop the rumour mill latching onto them as evidence of such. The latest report to spring up is Apple's apparent plans to introduce motion sensor gesture controls into future iOS devices and redesign the way a user interacts with a 3D …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
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    This would be a step backwards

    The iPad lets you touch stuff. This is direct interaction with your data, near enough, and that has to be the ultimate goal in computing.

    That's not possible yet with 3D. If the UI is behind the screen, you can't touch it because there's a piece of glass in the way. If it's in front of the screen you can't touch it because there's only air where you see the image.

    Because of that, I can't see this happening until somebody comes up with a method of doing touchable 3d.

  2. Silverburn

    Bollox to 3D. Where's my star trek style 3D-interactive-holigram-o-tron-o-matic thingy?

  3. Wang N Staines

    I suppose Apple has a working prototype when the patent is granted...

  4. Tom_

    Prior Art?

    There are already numerous apps on the iPhone that do this. I guess they use the gyroscope, whereas the patent suggests using other hardware sensors. Is that it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not sure it's exactly the same, but I had a fairly entertaining game on my iPhone called Holotoy, if I remember correctly. You moved a ball around a 3D space by tilting your phone one way and another

    2. Dan 10

      more sensors

      I think they're going further than that. So you have a 3d image of a car on the screen - rather than pressing a soft button marked rotate or dragging across the screen, you hold your hand in front of the screen and rotate it in mid-air, minority-report-style (without gloves, presumably).

      If you think about this on the sides of the device rather than the front, it gives Apple the ability to blend their minimalist style with all the functionality of buttons on the side, via some sort of gesture movement next to the device in order to perform specific functions.

      Just my interpretation, mind.

      1. Duncan Watts

        But isn't that just Kinect?

  5. Ryan 7

    So how soon will it be

    Before Trillian can turn your iPhone off by chucking a pencil in front of it?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As usual

    There's likely to be a ton of prior art. For a start, that guy who used the Wii controller to change the perspective of the stuff on screen actually demonstrated it, as opposed to filing yet more monopoly claims and simultaneously squealing about people "copying" and how "genius" their fruit-branded organisation is.

  7. Jedit
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    "Apple patents aren't always an indicator of the tech just around the corner"

    No, they're more commonly an indicator of existing tech created or dreamed up by someone else.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Apple only uses tech where it simplifies usage, this is a patent that Apple takes for 2 different reasons.

    1. Getting the market to guess what Apple is up to in wrong direktion

    2. Having a patent may be useful in the Future.

    It's not the first time that someone would try to mimic Apple patents in a product just because they think Apple has the next big thing going on. Apple knows this and has patented useless stuff before just for that reason.

    Usually the patents they actually register for tech they use in a product is registered quite late and closer to release date of that patent. That is how I've found it.

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