Apple was recently granted a new patent by the USPTO for their application entitled “Working with 3D objects”. The patent shows Apple’s interest to increase the utility and functionality of mobile devices that in theory can be operated with simple hand movements without needing to touch the screen.
The new technology operates by including a proximity sensor in the mobile device. The sensor identifies body movements to receive commands, which could give the iPad and iPhone an amazing amount of added functionality. The gesture driven technology has the possibility to open up a world of new opportunities for the iPad and iPhone app developer community. An exciting realm of user experience standards can be implemented to make apps and games much more interactive and responsive.
According to iPhone Hacks, “The patent covers methods to represent 3D objects on a touchscreen, and subsequently update an object’s representation based on user input, which can either be through touch or using air-gestures.”
The patent claim states: “Detecting a gesture input that comprises a movement of a finger in proximity to a surface of the display, measuring a distance between the finger and the surface of the display; modifying the 3D object according to the gesture input; and displaying the updated representation of the 3D object on the touchscreen.”
As an iPhone app developer in San Francisco, 3D gesture controls open up the flood gates to developers looking to maximize user engagement and pull their users deep into the app experience. We’ve seen competitors in the gesture based sector gain limited traction. Microsoft’s Kinect products and Leap Motion’s controller have been developing similar 3D gesture technology over the past few years. Time will tell whether Apple chooses to integrate this technology to disrupt the mobile industry once again.Tags: 3d technology, apple patent, gesture controls, gesture ui, ipad app development, leap motion, microsoft kinnect, uspto, working with 3d objects