Patent filings a hint at new gestures in Windows 8?

A number of recently published patent applications highlight several new finger and stylus input gestures possibly slated for Windows 8-based tablets.

The new Start menu in Windows 8
The new Start menu in Windows 8 AllThingsD

Several Microsoft patent filings recently published point to new finger and stylus gestures that could be aimed at Windows 8 tablets.

The company actually filed the patent requests in January 2010 but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published them late last week.

The patent applications show that Microsoft believes finger and stylus gestures can work not only separately but together to offer a user-friendly means of input on touch surfaces. The method that unites both types of inputs would recognize the first input as one from your finger and the second one from a stylus. Using both finger and stylus can then create a variety of gestures, many of which seem to be geared toward image editing but likely can be put to other uses.

Described and illustrated by tech site Winrumors, a copy gesture would let you tap an object with your finger and then move it with your stylus. A cut gesture would allow you to split an object in half using fingers or stylus or both together. A brush gesture would help you remove part of an image and then store it elsewhere on the screen. A staple gesture could be used to stack or "staple" multiple images or other objects on top of each other. And a stamp gesture would create duplicates of existing images.

Microsoft unveiled its upcoming Windows 8 for tablets at the D9 conference in June. The company is expected to divulge more details about its next operating system at its upcoming Build conference in September, with a beta possibly ready for developers to chew on at that time.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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