More Apple Tablet Patents - Gesture User Interface?

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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A search at the US Patent and Trademark Office reveals a number of new Apple patent aplpications that relate to the long-rumored Apple Tablet based computer. The most recent patents appeared on February 2nd, with a filing date as recent as January 18th, 2005.

Gestures for touch sensitive input devices - Methods and systems for processing touch inputs are disclosed. The invention in one respect includes reading data from a multipoint sensing device such as a multipoint touch screen where the data pertains to touch input with respect to the multipoint sensing device, and identifying at least one multipoint gesture based on the data from the multipoint sensing device.

Mode-based graphical user interfaces for touch sensitive input devices - A user interface method is disclosed. The method includes detecting a touch and then determining a user interface mode when a touch is detected. The method further includes activating one or more GUI elements based on the user interface mode and in response to the detected touch.

Touch-sensitive electronic apparatus for media applications, and methods therefor - The electronic mixing apparatus or the electronic keyboard apparatus is provided on a touch screen that provides user input and display capabilities.

Visual expander - A computer implemented method for a touchscreen display is disclosed. The method includes presenting graphical information on the touchscreen display. The method further includes detecting a touch over the touchscreen display. The method also includes expanding an area of the touch screen display proximate the location of the touch.
Hrmph.com posts photos from the gesture patent depicting a user using gestures on a tablet user interface.
 

Chaszmyr

macrumors 601
Aug 9, 2002
4,265
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I think we all know that Apple isn't going to release a tablet unless they can do it much better than has ever been done before. I'd say these patents are just the beginning.
 

odedia

macrumors 65816
Nov 24, 2005
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Looking at those photos, I'd say Apple should invest alot in stain-resistant displays :)
 

AP_piano295

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2005
1,076
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Chaszmyr said:
I think we all know that Apple isn't going to release a tablet unless they can do it much better than has ever been done before. I'd say these patents are just the beginning.
none the less here comes the mactab
 

willwoodgate

macrumors newbie
Dec 17, 2005
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Not being a grouch, I'm not taking much notice of this news just yet. Apple have bought hundreds of patents over the years, and very few have ever become actual products. In the furture - who knows? We were all expecting an application at MacWorld called "Numbers" but nothing came along.
Apple seams to operate on a precationary principle - protecting its ideas and storing them for future use.
But hey, a Tablet Mac - that would be quite neat!
 

Marvy

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2003
106
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Germany
I'm imagining some sort of tablet mac, that supports gestures, but also scanning paper that is laid on the screen (as suggested in that rumor about the sensor-pixels that Apple also patented), and finally an integrated printer to allow output onto paper. Wouldn't that be COOOL? :) Don't ask me if it's techically possible, but I would love to have a mobile mac that can scan, print and read my gestures :D
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
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364
Touch sensitive capabilities built into new Cinema displays - like the 21" Wacom one. That would be cool and very handy for artists etc.
 

kenzbud

macrumors member
Oct 21, 2005
78
0
Wow, if this came out... truly this would be the Intel Mac to have. I bet it would make some of the people holding out for Photoshop to buy a Intel Mac sooner.
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
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Location Location Location
Wow, tablets are so useful! I can......uh.....um.............surf the net with it!


It's cool, but not useful for the large large majority of us. So cool factor is high, but practicality is low unless the display's touch screen is good enough to draw on well.
 

Butters

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2006
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I don't think I or a lot of people for that matter need a tablet, I've never even considered looking at tablet PCs before

But I'm sure Apple could change all that.
It's not likely to happen soon if at all I agree but with all these patents one has to wonder.
 

Bad Beaver

macrumors regular
Nov 27, 2003
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Abstract said:
Wow, tablets are so useful! I can......uh.....um.............surf the net with it!


It's cool, but not useful for the large large majority of us. So cool factor is high, but practicality is low unless the display's touch screen is good enough to draw on well.
Things Tables Are Good For:

- web surfing
- wireless remote control for your digital hub
- reading books
- drawing (high res screen needed)
- writing, especially if you need to put in formulas or prefer to keep a low profile. Laptops create artificial barriers in small workgroups.
- games (especially boardgames or tactical. Select your troops with the pen while setting the camera angle with the other hand. Sweet!)
 

Bad Beaver

macrumors regular
Nov 27, 2003
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Butters said:
I don't think I or a lot of people for that matter need a tablet, I've never even considered looking at tablet PCs before

But I'm sure Apple could change all that.
It's not likely to happen soon if at all I agree but with all these patents one has to wonder.
Yes, please rethink. Tablets are ideal for (university) students for example, provided they are light, have a rugged construction, and have ample battery life. Why would you want to lugg pounds of literature if you can have it all as PDF on a high res screen?
 

petej

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2004
132
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video iPod with on screen controls.
Say goodbye to click wheels.

If nothing else, Apple are certain doing a lot of R&D even if nothing ever makes it to market and control surfaces are certainly going to get bigger. I can see several applications for changable control surfaces in video / audio mixing / TV remote controls. Maybe not the tablet computer though.
 

chabig

macrumors 603
Sep 6, 2002
5,889
3,142
As usual, the websites have screwed up the story. These are NOT patents. They are patent APPLICATIONS. Very different. They may or may not survive examination and turn into patents, and those that do will likely turn out different than their applications after Apple and the USPTO have gone back and forth over the details.

It's certainly interesting to see what Apple is working on. But don't mistake applications alone for full-fledged patents. That's like confusing war plans with actual war. Big difference.

Chris
 

big

macrumors 65816
Feb 20, 2002
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I read people want scanning, this is a great idea, though could it actually be done. Consider current technology, how would one do that in an integrated LCD display? Could the LCD be the scanner itself. There are some early version of translucent lcd displays, this seems like the way to go if you were to do this.

About the games, how cool would it be to have a virtual chess board. I would have to have GPS to justify this.... But I would stop just short of selling a kid to get something incredible like this.
 

gregarious119

macrumors member
Oct 21, 2005
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Reading, PA
I don't think that this will be an addition to the MacBook line, I think the tablet is going to be a natural progression to replace it.

Rather than adding a full tablet line, I'm putting my money on MacBook's becoming convertable notebooks. Full size keyboard and LCD, but with the LCD on a hinge that can rotate and fold the screen down. This offers the best solution for those needing a "notebook" but having the flexibility to fold it down and use it as a tablet in meetings, watching DVD's, etc.
 

iAlan

macrumors 65816
Dec 11, 2002
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Location: Location:
big said:
.... But I would stop just short of selling a kid to get something incredible like this.

Who needs kids when you can have a 'MacLet'

I was going to call it a 'MacTab' but that would sound like a low calorie soda from a fast food joint!
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,981
364
Looks like we can only use the new UI elements if we have scary claw-like hands.

Check them out, they are seriously the weirdest hands I have ever seen.
 

superleccy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 31, 2004
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22
That there big London
I think the tablet computer idea is a bit of a red herring.

My guess is that they point to the next generation of video-enabled iPod. The problem with video on the 5G iPod is that the screen is way too small, making it inferior (well, arguably, and only in terms of Video) to the PSP and some of the Archos offerings. But, the screen could not be made any bigger due to the real-estate occupied by the click wheel.

So, let the screen cover the whole of the front of the iPod, and replace the click-wheel with some innovative kind of touch-sensitive gesture control on the screen itself. With a little Apple magic, it could be beautiful. Think... nice and shiny, lovely rounded corners, no moving parts, just a screen in your pocket.

But why stop there...? Throw in WiFi and maybe a simple web browser and a VOIP client and <insert wish-list here>, and you've got a tablet-computer-PDA-communications device in your pocket. Except it won't be any of those things... it'll still be an iPod.

Oh well, back to my day job...

Regards
Superleccy

Edit: Sorry petej, just saw your post... didn't mean to steal your idea.