Apple explores 3D GUI in new patent application

Last year Apple managed to get 676 patents awarded to it by the U.S. Patent Office, and 2012 is showing no signs of Apple slowing down. In its latest application, Apple is proposing technology that would control a 3D interface using touch-free motion-based gestures on your iOS device.

Last year Apple managed to get 676 patents awarded to it by the U.S. Patent Office, and 2012 is showing no signs of Apple slowing down. In its latest application, Apple is proposing technology that would control a 3D interface using touch-free motion-based gestures on your iOS device.

Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn

The concept of controlling a device with motion is, of course, not a new one. Microsoft's Kinect has proven the technology to not only be practical and applicable, but popular as well. But that technology is for a gaming console connected to your television in the comfort of your home.

Apple is exploring something much different, according to a patent application uncovered by Patently Apple.

In order to offer a 3D GUI on a device with a screen as small as the iPhone's, Apple plans to implement an array of technology including device-side sensors that determine what the display should be showing based on its orientation and relationship to the user as well as a catalog of touch-free gestures to control that interface.

The combination should enable users to navigate a three-dimensional environment on their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch without feeling cramped due to the lack of screen real estate.

Would a 3D GUI make sense on your iOS device? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

 

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