Apple Exploring MultiTouch Interface Gestures

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    #1
    [​IMG]

    If there was any doubt where some at Apple think the direction of the future is, a new patent application describes the progression of the computer user interface over the years:

    This particular patent is credited to John Elias who was one of the founders of Fingerworks, a company who had done much work in the field of touch-interfaces. Apple acquired Fingerworks in 2005.

    Elias goes on to describe how multi-touch gestures can have a broad vocabulary and invoke a number of actions. The patent application describes how to implement dictionary of gestures ("chords") which are made up of a combination of fingers, thumbs, and/or other hand parts. The dictionary would be presented to the user for teaching purposes but could also allow the user to assign meanings to particular gestures.

    An extremely broad vocabulary is described in that Elias explains that each user's hands can execute twenty-five combinations based on five independent fingers. In the end, over 300 possible combinations are expected per hand.

    Examples given include "Thumb & 1 Finger" combinations producing on action:


    [​IMG]


    and "Thumb & 2 Finger" combinations producing different actions:


    [​IMG]


    This patent application was filed January 3, 2007 and was just published today. Apple's iPhone presently utilizes a multi-touch interface, but only implements a limited number of gestures, but there have been hopes that Apple would expand this interface to iPods and Displays

    Article Link
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    lazyrighteye

    Joined:
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    Denver, CO
    #2
    300 Gestures per hand?!?
    Dag.

    So... could Apple, via a Software Update, enable more Gestures on iPhones?

    Regardless, it will be interesting to see how Apple will implement this tech in their (more traditional, aka: non-iPhone) computer offerings. Why do I get the feeling the next iMac is where Apple will debut such things?

    Hmmm, interesting times...
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

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    NYC, or thereabouts
    #3
    Looks neat -- but how do you do 212 and 213 with only two fingers?

    Are they really talking about the "pinch" (and "reverse-pinch" if that's a word) that are currently used on the iPhone for zooming? Maybe -- just bad icons.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

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  5. macrumors 6502

    wattage

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    #5
    Of course it seems really cool, but that looks confusing, surely Apple will maintain simplicity with their further application of this.
     
  6. macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #6
    This will be interesting to see. It looks confusing.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    RZetlin

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    #7
    Apple should team up with Nintendo to work on this technology.

    After all the Nintendo has the Wii with its motion controller.
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #8
    you'd need a whole new type of computer. ultra-portable tablet?

    Fingerworks...

    Best
    Acquisition
    Ever!
     
  9. macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #9
    Yeah...looks harder to memorize than all the gestures of RPS-101.
     
  10. arn
    macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

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    #10
    Yeah, the icons are pretty generic and are the same for thumb + 1 finger, thumb + 2 finger, thumb + 3 finger etc...

    so I think that just represents "pinch" and "reverse-pinch". So each "arrow" doesn't necessarily corrspond to a finger/thumb.

    arn
     
  11. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #11
    You know how old folks all seem to be techno-phobic fuddy duddies who don't understand anything more complicated than a TV remote? It's not that they're stupid. The world just moved faster than they could keep up.

    Well, this is the begining of the end for us, my friend.

    Yes, I agree that a mouse seems easier. But I bet my 5 month old daughter is going to know all these hand motions by the time she's 4.

    Give it another 2 decades and she'll be flying space shuttles with her toes while you and I and all the rest of the 'mouse users' will be sleeping in boxes under the freeway overpass.
     
  12. macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #12
    yeah, it does a little bit. very interesting. maybe we'll find out more on Tuesday?
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    mozmac

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    #13
    These remind me of the Graffiti icons from my old Palm. Apple will definitely make them simpler and more intuitive. I think it's great that they're making this they're "next big thing" because it will give people a naturally human interaction with their computers instead of requiring them to learn how to use special input devices. I want to go down on record as liking the keyboard more than the mouse. The mouse has certain functions to perform, but people rely too heavily on it. You can get so much more done in a short period of time using keyboard shortcuts.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    mozmac

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    #14
    Grimace...

    Best
    McDonalds character
    Ever!
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Tankgunk

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    #15
    I have to agree that the gestures look hard to remember, but playing around with my fingers (and thumbs) on the computer desk makes me think that this could be somthing I could live with, and might even find to be fun. However, I'd still like to have a keyboard and mouse on my computer desk. Not everything is better with multitouch.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    #16
    seems like something that would be added to a touchmouse on a laptop, im not sure how you would integrate this onto something such as an imac
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    ImAlwaysRight

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2002
    #17
    I wonder instead of touch computer display if they will put a small trackpad-like "display" on the keyboard or something in the future -- maybe a small iPhone sized touch device that can be placed to the right or left of the computer, replacing the mouse. As has been said many times on this forum, I can't imagine using an iMac or desktop Mac with a touch screen display.
     
  18. macrumors member

    MacJediDude

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    #18
    The future of this will be fun to take part in .... all iPhone users are beta testers for this new cool technology :)
     
  19. arn
    macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

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    #19
    The thing to remember is that multitouch gestures are not untested technology.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    http://www.fingerworks.com/gesture_guide_web.html
    http://www.fingerworks.com/userguides.html

    Fingerworks had a very loyal following.

    arn
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #20
    I pretty much had the same reaction. It's a whole new language to me, and one that seems tricky to learn. However, children learning it as they grow up will find it natural. Whole new interfaces can be built on the basis of this language and users will find it intuitive, because they've know this language their whole life.
     
  21. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    #21
    Its about time we use all ten fingers when we use a computer

    I always thought that using a mouse is like using one finger for everything you do, eating, drinking, writing. The mouse never made sense to me. If you use all ten fingers then your able to utilize a computer as you would something in real life.

    Look at the interface for the 3d software program MAYA. They started to utilize two hands and multi-button mouses back in 1996. Then Maya came up with the star system for quick commands without going to the top menu bar all the time. Its still brilliant.

    Apple will incorporate this new technology into its mouse pads/laptops and possible tablets. I can also see apple coming out with a tablet/monitor such as WACOMS CINTIQ.

    Its about time we use all ten fingers when we use a computer.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    TheSlush

    Joined:
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    Location:
    New York, NY
    #22
    Microsoft Patent Infringement?

    So will Apple's multitouch patents ever conflict with Microsoft's Surface Computing patents? Microsoft's Surface utilizes cameras rather than touch-sensitivity, but it's still a method of using hand gestures as a computer interface.


    Sent from my iPhone
     
  23. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #23
    Ok, this is really cool :)

    Think about it and try them out on your touchpads, there isn't enough room for (most) of them (and I don't even have that big fingers) which means there must be an iMac (maybe not the next one per se) or a different kind of device whos screen is capable of detecting them!
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    zombitronic

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    #24
    Touch Screen vs. Trackpad

    I'm not saying that I expect this in the upcoming iMacs, but with iMacs being all about the built in display, unless Apple develops a Mac Tablet, the iMac seems like a logical debut for this technology in the desktop form factor.

    The other alternative would be selling a touch capable Apple Display for non-iMacs, or as mentioned, an external desktop trackpad. Touching the "objects" on screen seems to be the more natural form of input, for example, the iPhone's interface.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    TheSlush

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    New York, NY
    #25
    But leave it to Apple to make it simple and easy for anyone to use.



    Sent from my iPhone
     

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