Apple Details iOS User Interface That Compensates for Device Motion

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
47,516
9,354



Apple has received a patent -- originally filed for in 2007, when the original iPhone was only months old -- that allows an iOS device to adjust its screen to make it easier for users to interact with the touchscreen when it detects movement (via AppleInsider).

For example, play and next/previous track buttons on the lock screen, or listings in the Contacts app, could get larger if the iPhone detects that the user is jogging. It could also have items like app buttons on the home screen move themselves slightly to give the illusion of stability.

Apple proposes using the gyroscope, proximity sensor, accelerometer and other sensors to detect movement and the angle of the display, with the iPhone then adjusting user interface elements to prevent touch errors. It also learns about how the user touches the display, allowing it to better correct for errors in the future.

In general, one aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can be embodied in methods that include the actions of detecting a pattern of motion of a device; and adjusting a graphical user interface of the device in response to the detected pattern of motion. Other embodiments of this aspect include corresponding systems, apparatus, devices, computer program products, and computer readable media.

In general, another aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can be embodied in methods that include the actions of detecting a motion of a device; comparing the detected motion to a predetermined signature of motion; and adjusting a graphical user interface of the device based on the comparing. Other embodiments of this aspect include corresponding systems, apparatus, devices, computer program products, and computer readable media.

Particular embodiments of the subject matter described in this specification can be implemented to realize one or more of the following advantages. Loss in accuracy of a user's interactions with a touch-sensitive display of a device or user mistakes with respect to the selection of user interface elements on a touch-sensitive display, due to movement of the user and/or the device, is mitigated. A device user interface can be adjusted to provide better visibility or usability.
The patent was originally filed for back in 2007 and Apple has not yet implemented the design into iOS. Apple frequently files for patents on inventions that it never uses commercially, but something similar could appear in iOS in the future.

Article Link: Apple Details iOS User Interface That Compensates for Device Motion
 

v0lume4

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
1,789
3,550
Who knows if we'll ever see this, but it's a brilliant idea really.
 

crackbookpro

macrumors 65816
Feb 25, 2009
1,097
0
Om nom nom nom
They have another chip now in the 5s besides the A7... wonder when they use that '07 patent?

Maybe that new M7 motion-processor does something after all... hmmm.
 

Tankmaze

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2012
1,623
243
Apple proposes using the gyroscope, proximity sensor, accelerometer and other sensors to detect movement and the angle of the display, with the iPhone then adjusting user interface elements to prevent touch errors. It also learns about how the user touches the display, allowing it to better correct for errors in the future.
Gosh, reading about it made my head explode. Hats off to Apple engineers for trying to implement this.
 

Surreal

macrumors 6502a
Jun 18, 2004
515
30
The patent does not sound like what Marco was doing.


The patent sounds like a much more straightforward-to-implement idea where you make the device easier via interface changes rather than 'stabilization'. An exaggerated example would be if the music app simply changed to 4 giant buttons because tapping small buttons is hard while jogging.
 

Lepton

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2002
826
253
Cold Spring Harbor, NY
There has been something like this on the keyboard since the beginning, though it isn't visual.

As you type, the system can often make a decent guess as to the next key you will hit or not hit. For example, in the word "quick" after typing Q, it is more likely you will type "U" and less likely you will type the adjacent letters "Y" or "I". So the system widens the hit rectangle for "U" and narrows it for "Y" and "I". You can still type those letters, but not as easily as "U".

This is similar, though visual, and it also takes motion and vibration into account.
 

bacaramac

macrumors 65816
Dec 29, 2007
1,413
78
Cool idea, love seeing ideas like this.

M7 seems to be a prime use along with this feature.
 

darkslide29

macrumors 65816
Oct 5, 2011
1,487
222
San Francisco, California
Interesting to me that this was filed in 2007, well before the gyroscope was put into an iPhone, yet included in the patent. The plans to were set, generations away! But that shouldn't be surprising.

EDIT: I guess I was thinking of the iPhone 4 gyroscope that included more axis (3 axis).
 

proline

macrumors 6502a
Nov 18, 2012
630
1
Interesting to me that this was filed in 2007, well before the gyroscope was put into an iPhone, yet included in the patent. The plans to were set, generations away! But that shouldn't be surprising.

EDIT: I guess I was thinking of the iPhone 4 gyroscope that included more axis (3 axis).
Good observation for sure. I always find it funny how many pundits obsess about how Apple 'needs to' come out with a quick, knee jerk response to whatever the story of the day is- netbooks, smart watches, phablets, whatever. The fact is that designing quality devices takes several years and requires vision and commitment. Coming up with some garbage to fill your blog in the meantime, well, that's a little easier.
 

sir1963nz

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2012
587
899
The patent does not sound like what Marco was doing.


The patent sounds like a much more straightforward-to-implement idea where you make the device easier via interface changes rather than 'stabilization'. An exaggerated example would be if the music app simply changed to 4 giant buttons because tapping small buttons is hard while jogging.
I wonder how many intended uses have been made null and void with SIRI making it even easier , e.g. push the button on the headphones and say "skip track", "Play", etc.
 

NMBob

macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2007
1,095
780
New Mexico
Looks kinda like iOS 7 - now that's foresight :p
It does? (Or were you joking?) There's a square around the + sign to indicate that it is a button, there are lines between the items in the list and the five "buttons" across the bottom are clearly delineated. There's nothing floating aimlessly in space. On top of that didn't the 7.1 beta just reduce the size of some buttons -- probably because they didn't look good -- making them harder to hit on the go? This patent is the way it should be, and not the way it is now.
 

larrybeo

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2008
129
0
Chicago
I wonder if it will automatically make the screen size bigger? Because man, that's a small screen. I can't even type on it anymore after I upgraded to a Windowsphone.
 

Maflagulator

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2013
35
11
Is that so.....?

The patent was originally filed for back in 2007 and Apple has not yet implemented the design into iOS.
Looks like they're using some of the abilities:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1660713

iOS is designed to compensate for the angle that it expects a phone to be held at, which suggests that some of the discrepancies between screen accuracy between the iPhone 5s/5c and the Galaxy S3 may be intentional on Apple's part, in order to provide a better experience for users that are not holding their phones in static positions.
 

Laird Knox

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2010
1,772
937
I would love to see the touch error correction implemented. Even on the larger iPad Mini it can sometimes be difficult to make selections in Dash Command - particularly when off road in the Jeep.
 

Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
14,439
1,775
Australia, Perth
So, buttons have a life of there own ?

or icons ? There not fixed size ? How would this work when you must have fixed icons on a screen or buttons ?

Neat idea
 

Maflagulator

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2013
35
11
to the contrary....

I would love to see the touch error correction implemented. Even on the larger iPad Mini it can sometimes be difficult to make selections in Dash Command - particularly when off road in the Jeep.
The article that I linked to explains that it already IS implemented. However, bouncing around while off-loading in your Jeep is not exactly the same as holding it in your hand and attempting to compensate for movements, etc. It is probably difficult for you BECAUSE it is compensating for the unnatural movements that occur while off-roading. In your case, you would want it switched OFF.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.