Three-dimensional user interfaces have been the boon of science-fiction stories for quite some time, but as of yet the system hasn’t really taken off in the real world.
That has apparently not stopped Apple from being very interested in the idea, in some capacity or another, over the last several years. Some date back to 2012, while other more interesting ones in 2013 indicate that Apple has been working on a gesture-based user interface for the iPhone for quite some time. Moreover, there’s been rumors of a 3D-based display for an iPhone for some time now.
Now, according to a report published on Tuesday, November 9 by AppleInsider, Apple has been awarded a patent for a motion-based gesture user interface, which could be handled without actually touching the display. The award for the patent comes as Apple also reassigns a patent that’s related to 3D mapping technologies that the company acquired when it purchased PrimeSense late in 2013.
This particular patent is actually the same one that was reported on in 2012, but simply just now granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent outlines how Apple plans, or at least has planned at some point, to include sensors within specific equipment to provide means to interact with a user interface in different ways. This would use “onboard sensors to automatically determine and display perspective projection of the 3D display environment based on the orientation data without he user physically (e.g., touching) the display.”
At this stage, the patents simply show that Apple is indeed investigating several different areas of the technology industry, and probably weighing how it can be used within its own products — or not at all. Of course, Apple’s apparent love for 3D is just as strong for virtual reality, and Apple’s recent spat of VR-focused reports indicate that the future for the Cupertino-based company could indeed be very interesting.