Patently Apple came across a patent that was recently filed by Apple that suggests the company might be looking into 3D gestures for upcoming iDevices.
These so-called “3D gestures” will allow users to interact with their iDevices not only via touch input but also by moving their fingers around the iDevice itself while not actually making contact with it:
Three-dimensional objects can be generated based on two-dimensional objects. A first user input identifying a 2D object presented in a user interface can be detected, and a second user input including a 3D gesture input that includes a movement in proximity to a surface can be detected. A 3D object can be generated based on the 2D object according to the first and second user inputs, and the 3D object can be presented in the user interface.
3D viewing would actually be a requirement for “3D gestures” to be practical, and it’s very unpractical for users to be walking around town wearing 3D glasses while operating their iPhone. This suggests that Apple is working on introducing their own method of glasses-free 3D viewing for iDevices.
Apple has pointed out that some practical implementations of this patent could range from the creation of 3D models of avatars to real estate maps and products:
Various gesture inputs can be used to render complex 3D objects. For example, a product design house can use device 100 to quickly generate 3D models of consumer products. Video game developers can use device 100 to quickly generate 3D models of figures in video games. Users can use device 100 to quickly generate avatars for use in video conferencing applications. User of a virtual 3D environment can quickly generate or modify avatars or objects in the virtual 3D environment. Homeowners can generate 3D models of their houses based on aerial photographs, and add the 3D models to a map application.
Keep in mind that Apples files dozens of patens weekly and this is just one of the many intriguing patents to make it’s way to the public’s eye. With that said, there’s probably a good change we won’t see this implementation of this patent for quite some time.
Stay tuned for more news on interesting patents filed by Apple.