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Apple patents physics metaphors for multitouch input

updated 02:30 pm EDT, Fri July 8, 2011

Apple patent details physical gestures for inputs

Another Apple patent filing with the USPTO has surfaced, this one titled Intuitive, Gesture-based Communications with Physics Metaphors. It details using physical gesture that are similar to real-world actions to communicate between devices. Specifically, the concept tackles file storage and transfer commands.

This hints at a change of attitude at Apple, as it has been reluctant to allow easy file sharing across iOS hardware. iOS 5 should be better at this, as it integrates with the iCloud service. The patent shows a gesture of pouring objects from one device to another, flicking files and sand flowing through an hourglass. These motions could then trigger Bluetooth, NFC, or RFID transfers. The gestures would need to be read by the many sensors in today's hardware, including accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers.

Mobile apps and platforms have had gesture-driven commands such as shaking to share files or to undo a command, but they haven't always had as direct metaphors as those Apple described.

The patent was filed on January 5 but has just now been made public. An Apple patent doesn't necessarily guarantee a shipping product but can give a clue as to Apple's design direction. [via AppleInsider]

by MacNN Staff



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