Apple Receives Patent for 3D Gesture Control on Touchscreen Devices

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a newly-granted Apple patent (via AppleInsider) addressing a means for extending the multi-touch input present on Apple's touchscreen devices to the airspace above the screen, allowing for 3D manipulation of objects via 3D gesture inputs.

    The patent, which was filed in July 2012 and is entitled "Working with 3D objects", describes a system that detects both 2D objects in a user interface and a 3D gesture input close to the device's surface, which then generates a 3D object that is presented in the user interface of the device.
    According to the patent, the device detects the location of the user's fingers using a combination of both the capacitive touch sensors and the proximity sensors located in the display. The new technology would work in combination with the existing touchscreen controls on the device, and would allow users to lift their fingers off the screen in order to "pull out" a 3D shape from a 2D one (as the drawing in the patent shown above demonstrates), just like in most existing CAD programs.
    Other uses for the new technology include the ability to use 3D gestures to sculpt using virtual clay-like materials and to change parameters such as shadows, brightness, textures and more. The patent may mark Apple's move to push the iPad more as a creative device which can be used in a variety of industries, including computer-aided design (CAD).

    The idea of controlling a device using gestures is not new, however. The Samsung Galaxy S4 currently features a technology known as "Air Gesture", which allows the user to control their device using a number of simple gestures. But Apple's patent covers different technology -- whereas Samsung uses a light sensor to detect the user's gestures, Apple's technology would instead be embedded into the device's screen.

    Article Link: Apple Receives Patent for 3D Gesture Control on Touchscreen Devices
  2. Tones2 macrumors 65816

    Jan 8, 2009
    Ugh. This is NOT something that should be patentable. Gestures are not patentable. In all seriousness, I myself thought of this exact idea like 5 years ago. The patent system is insane.
  3. Illusion986 macrumors 6502


    Mar 12, 2009
    Always thought the way Samsung was going it was a bit flimsy if that makes sense sort of like xbox kinect where your movements have to be exaggerated ....But this could be promising
  4. Squilly macrumors 68020


    Nov 17, 2012
    This technology is at least 3 years away. I don't see it coming out anytime soon. Patents can be filed for any year on Apple's roadmap.
  5. AngerDanger macrumors 601


    Dec 9, 2008
    I can't wait to never see this implemented and then read stories about litigation with Samsung over it.
  6. Narrator Jack, Aug 20, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014

    Narrator Jack macrumors regular

    Narrator Jack

    May 14, 2013
  7. bbeagle macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    Apple is not patenting GESTURES. Apple is patenting the process by which a computer can determine what gesture you are making by using touch sensors and proximity sensors.
  8. Illusion986 macrumors 6502


    Mar 12, 2009
    I believe first you make a working prototype then and only then should it be allowed to be patented. But technology world is so fast paced and competitive might not work as inventor might not have means to build his/her idea without going to others who have means to build it but also have an urge to steal the idea.
  9. Bare macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2008
    If anybody can make this work, it's Apple. Touchscreens prior to the iPhone were horrendous.

    I agree that the patent system in this country is out of control. If this really is the first 3D gesture system to use this exact technology, then great, but probably a thousand similar ideas will be patented, also.
  10. 24601 macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2011
    Doesn't Tony Stark already have this patent? I'm pretty sure Jarvis works this way. ;)
  11. Bhatu macrumors regular


    Apr 1, 2013
    Wasn't Samsung's Air Gesture implementation is on similar grounds? If they didn't filed any patents then their next set of Galaxies are already duped! :D
  12. cmChimera macrumors 68040


    Feb 12, 2010
    Did you invent it though? Or did you sit on your idea and somehow expect that no one else would actually do something with it? Furthermore, as pointed out, gestures are not being patented.
  13. rjohnstone macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2007
    PHX, AZ.
    The tech behind both may be different, but the concepts are very similar.
  14. Klosefabrinio macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2013
    it's just a patent, we can't confirm if we will see this technology.
  15. bbeagle macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    Putting something in a movie does not mean you own the patent.

    Thinking up the CONCEPT of a time machine, and actually DESIGNING said time machine are 2 different things. The first is NOT patentable, the second IS.

    I'll patent the concept of 'making money' if concepts are patentable, and sue anyone who makes money from doing anything.
  16. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    So apple is trying to reto activley patent Microsoft Kinect ?

    and didn't Sony show off this "virtual clay modeling" stuff with Move for the PS4 ?
  17. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    Aren't a lot of these patents about implementation?
  18. Tankmaze macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    So this is like Air Gesture on S4, but this one works.

    Seriously, i've tried air gesture and it lags and most of the time doesn't work, still a gimmick feature. I don't know how Apple can implement it, guess will see about it.
  19. Hakone macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2011
    Southern California
  20. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    And how unbelievably awesome would it be to be able to work with technology like that??? Yes, please.

    Now imagine Leia above your iPad saying, "Help me, 24601(or whatever your name is). You're my only hope." I say yes to that.
  21. edgonzalez32 macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2011
    He was joking dude.
  22. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    Actually ALL patents are about the implementation. And this is what makes the patent system so great. You get lots of different people/companies coming up with tons of different methods and implementations to solve some sort of problem. And then when the patents expire, everyone gets to use whatever turned out to be the best implementation. This is how the world progresses with technology.

    If you ever see someone posting on a forum.... "That shouldn't be patented! That's already been done before!" ...that's when you know the poster doesn't have the slightest clue what they're talking about. They are ignorant of how the patent system works.

    It's all about the specific method or implementation you went about to achieve it in your own unique way. And some implementations turn out to be better than others... which is what the patent system is there to help produce... tons of different and creative implementations of how to solve often the same problem so that increasingly better ones emerge rather than everyone just using the first one that exists.... and encouraging this creativity (and the sharing of it with the world by detailing it in patent filings) by giving financial incentives for doing so.
  23. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007

    glad to know this is being worked on.. modeling on tablets has so far proven to be a no go.
  24. TheKDub macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2008
    Oh, you know Tony Stark? I thought I saw him flying around in his Iron Man suit the other day...
  25. lkrupp macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2004
    The technology that makes it happen IS patentable. This doesn't happen just because you think about it. You have to develop the physical technology to make it work and that's patentable. And if Apple makes it work and it becomes popular you can bet your last dollar Samesung will copy it.

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