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Gesture-controlled iPad incoming?

You might be able to control future iPads by waving your hands from across the room, according to a new Apple patent.

The idea of controlling your iPad by waving your hands from across the room is a tantalising one. It could soon be reality, if a patent application Apple filed with the US Patent & Trademark Office is anything to go by.

And the prospect of using this on the rumoured Apple TV set? It could potentially change the way we interact with our technology forever.

Patently Apple reports you might soon be able to control your iPad by waving your hands around. Or, in the rather bureaucratic language of the patent, "manipulate and control graphical elements on your display, such as icons, media files, text and images." Possible gestures include shapes such as semi-circles and squares, question marks, ticks and letters.

The 3D gesture capture would require a front-facing camera, as on the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. We're going out on a limb here and speculating the Apple telly may well have a camera too, for FaceTime video chatting and 3D gesture control. Imagine that, sitting on the sofa waving your hand to change channel.

Steve Jobs was quoted in Walter Isaacson's biography as saying he wanted to "create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.

"It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine," he added. "I finally cracked it."

People have speculated this will mean Siri, for voice-controlled channel changing, but it could incorporate 3D gesture control too. However you look at it, it's pretty exciting stuff. Apple has already changed how we interact with our devices, it could well be about to do the same again.

Would you want to control your iPad from across the room? Make some gestures over in the direction of our Facebook page.