Print 9 comment(s) - last by PsiJon.. on Feb 7 at 10:58 AM

Picking up California
Apple files for patents relating to advanced gesture input methods. This could be the beginning of future tablet devices from Apple

Apple today filed for a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office for designing devices that accept full input from touch. The patent details methods where a user can simply control everything that is done traditionally using a mouse, by finger. Apple calls the method gestures, which expand on current technology to allow finger motions to work in even a 3D space.

Gestures are already being used in some areas such as web browsing. The Opera browser for instance, can accept mouse gestures to navigate pages. Basic gestures are already being used in Apple's OS X on its line of notebooks. The patent is very extensive and covers a wide range of gestures from zooms, rotations, knobs, panning and more. Some gestures will even allow a user to pick up items such as objects and icons.

From the patent:

3. A computer implemented method for processing touch inputs, said method comprising: reading data from a touch sensitive device, the data pertaining to touch input with respect to the touch sensitive device, and the touch sensitive device having a multipoint capability; converting the data to a collection of features; classifying the features; grouping the features into one or more feature groups; calculating key parameters of the feature groups; and associating the feature groups to user interface elements on a display.

4. A method for recognizing a zoom gesture made on a multipoint touch sensitive device, comprising: detecting the relative locations of a first object and a second object at the same time; detecting a change in the relative locations of said first and second object; generating a zoom signal in response to said detected change.

See the entire patent from Apple here. Thanks to Anthony Hin for the notice.

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By Herrterror on 2/3/2006 12:14:01 PM , Rating: 4
"Hopefully Apple or someone else makes Windows&Linux compatible versions."

It'll follow a familiar pattern: Steve Jobs will leave some grinning soundbites lying around about how 'it's not PC-compatible' and mags like Time will eat up the news. 6 months later apple will come again to the conclusion that new proprietary tech doesn't sell Macs, it only limits new sales, so 'PC' versions come to the market.

RE: Appul
By DigitalFreak on 2/3/2006 1:14:27 PM , Rating: 2

Oh Noes!
By Xenoterranos on 2/3/2006 1:16:13 AM , Rating: 5
I wonder what giving iTunes the finger will conjur up? Perhaps better bitrates and cheaper music? Perhaps...

By PsiJon on 2/7/2006 10:51:36 AM , Rating: 2
Gestures are a good idea, but they are hardly Apple's idea. It's already been put into practise by such companies as Fingerworks (and perhaps others?).

Is apple trying to patent only specific gestures? Or, the idea of gesturing in general?

By PsiJon on 2/7/2006 10:58:19 AM , Rating: 2
Addendum: Just noticed on their website that Fingerworks has gone out of business. Perhaps that's why Apple is now able/trying to patent the idea?

By AndreasM on 2/3/2006 4:26:12 AM , Rating: 2
The fingers in those pictures are pretty horrible. :P

Otherwise the tech seems neat. Hopefully Apple or someone else makes Windows&Linux compatible versions.

Look for new iPod
By AkaiRo on 2/3/2006 2:18:56 PM , Rating: 2
I've been saying this for a while over at Creative's forums. Apple is going to release an iPod where most of the front surface is a touchscreen that has a virtual click-wheel. The unit will be able to work in portrait mode (MP3 playback) or landscape (MP3 or video playback). The current 2.5" display isn't good enough for watching videos.

By Caligynemaniac on 2/3/2006 7:59:51 PM , Rating: 2
I sincerely hope the patent office throws this in the trash. Gesture input devices are not a novel idea created by Apple. Just look at any touch screen display, that is the basics of a gesture input (though very basic indeed). Looking at the Revolution's controller concept gives a more full featured sense of how Apple is NOT being innovative in the slightest.

Not what I'd call it.
By mindless1 on 2/4/2006 5:50:51 PM , Rating: 2
I'd not call it "gestures", i'd call it "Apple, you've been smoking too much crack". Who in their right mind whould not consider it inevitable that touch-screen interfaces become the norm? It's only been on sci-fi movies for the past 100 years or so.

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