Last July, Apple filed a patent for what was referred to as 3D gesturing. Now, over a year later, PatentlyApple reports that the US Patent and Trademark Office has granted the company the rather obscure and somewhat futuristic patent.
When the patent was first filed, its applications were essentially said to provide the ability to not only render, but also edit and make modifications to 3D objects and environments using an iPad-like device.
PatentlyApple provides additional insight:
Video game developers could use it to quickly generate 3D models of figures in video games. Users could use it to quickly generate avatars for use in video conferencing applications. Users of a virtual 3D environment could quickly generate or modify avatars or objects in the virtual 3D environment.
As for interfacing with a device that could support such a concept, the report notes an iPad with a touch-sensetive display (similar to that of the current iPad) that’s also capable of recognizing gestures preformed above the display’s surface to further manipulate 2D and 3D objects as being the ideal input method.
Moreover, in a similar patent application, a process for creating raised environments is detailed. Similar to the input methods mentioned above, a simple pinch-and-pull gesture – starting with a 2D and ending with a 3D movement – will allow for further manipulation of various models and environments.
Last week, Apple’s plans for a future controlled by iOS-based devices utilizing NFC (near field communication) were made known to the public. Now, the ability to incorporate futuristic 3D interactions into mobile devices has been added to Apple’s never-ending collection of patents. Could Apple be planning to usher in a new era of technology, or are they simply collecting and shelving these Sci-Fi-esque patents? Stay tuned for complete coverage on Apple and their intriguing concepts.