d
Oct 28, 2011

Is apple's patent on 3d gesture control an indication of the interface of the future?

I saw today that Apple is playing around with 3D gestures as a way of controlling future devices. Other than being waaaay cool in concept, can this really be viable as an interface for Smartphones, PCs, etc.?

z
10/31/2011

I like the thought that I am going to look like Jedi using the Force to tell my iPad what music to play.  Finally, all that practice trying to use my Jedi powers when I was eight years old is going to pay off!  Really, though, a version of this is already here.  Just last night my kid was playing his X360 with Kinect, and he was controlling it entirely using hand/arm movements, so in a way the technology is already out there and in use.  The Kinect uses camera facing the user, and the location of the person playing is important for the system to properly “read” the gestures.  It doesn’t seem like too much of a leap to use the camera of a smartphone to do the same thing, although it would need some pretty sweet tracking technology to avoid the need of very carefully positioning oneself in the “sweet spot” for the camera of the device for it to recognize what the heck you are flailing around about.

10/29/2011
Hi dbrown,

I am not sure about the viability of it in the short term, but over the long haul it may very well be. Apple may be laying the groundwork for some revolutionary interfaces, but I doubt it's something we'll see in the near term. But it definitely has a coolness factor attached to it that can't be doubted.

Here's an interesting look at the patent you referred to.

Apple exploring 3D gestures to control devices from a distance
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/10/27/apple_exploring_3d_gesture...

Snippet:

"Apple's interest in hands-off control of a device like an iPhone, iPad or Mac was revealed this week in a new patent application made public by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Entitled "Real Time Video Process Control Using Gestures," the filing, discovered by AppleInsider, is related to remotely controlling and editing video recordings on a mobile device.

Such editing could be done with gestures on a touchscreen, much like is already available on the iPhone and iPad. But within the application, Apple also makes mention of hand gestures that can be performed without touching the device.

The filing notes that a device could be controlled with hand gestures accomplished in either two or three dimensions, and these could be interpreted through infrared sensors, optical sensors, or other methods. These gestures could be used as a replacement for, or even in concert with, traditional touchscreen-based gestures."
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