Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,475
16,524



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.
Screen-Shot-2013-08-20-at-2.56.00-pm.png
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.
Techniques and systems that support generating, modifying, and manipulating 3D objects using 3D gesture inputs are disclosed. For example, 3D objects can be generated based on 2D objects. A first user input identifying a 2D object presented in a user interface can be detected, and a second 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 where the 3D object can be manipulated by the user.
Screen-Shot-2013-08-20-at-3.13.20-pm.png
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
 

Tones2

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2009
1,471
0
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.
 

Illusion986

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2009
354
3
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
 

Squilly

macrumors 68020
Nov 17, 2012
2,260
4
PA
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.
 

AngerDanger

macrumors 603
Dec 9, 2008
5,334
27,802
I can't wait to never see this implemented and then read stories about litigation with Samsung over it.
 

bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,441
2,734
Buffalo, NY
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.

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.
 

Illusion986

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2009
354
3
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.

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.
 

Bare

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2008
182
6
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.
 

24601

macrumors member
Jul 15, 2011
31
24
Doesn't Tony Stark already have this patent? I'm pretty sure Jarvis works this way. ;)
 

Bhatu

macrumors regular
Apr 1, 2013
169
86
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
 

cmChimera

macrumors 601
Feb 12, 2010
4,053
2,943
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.

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.
 

bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,441
2,734
Buffalo, NY
Doesn't Tony Stark already have this patent? I'm pretty sure Jarvis works this way. ;)

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.
 

Nightarchaon

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,393
29
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 ?
 

Tankmaze

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2012
1,692
328
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.
 

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,268
94
Doesn't Tony Stark already have this patent? I'm pretty sure Jarvis works this way. ;)

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.
 

edgonzalez32

Suspended
Jul 21, 2011
673
1,254
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.

He was joking dude.
 

newagemac

macrumors 68020
Mar 31, 2010
2,091
23
Aren't a lot of these patents about implementation?

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.
 

TheKDub

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2008
128
68
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.

Oh, you know Tony Stark? I thought I saw him flying around in his Iron Man suit the other day...
 

lkrupp

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2004
1,227
2,095
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.

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.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.