updated 11:16 am EST, Tue January 14, 2014
iPhone tech could change interface for runners and walkers
Apple has won a pair of new patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office. The first deals with processing and editing 3D video, and suggests a means of importing and editing two clips simultaneously. Apple editing software -- presumably Final Cut -- would be able to identify and link clips from left-eye and right-eye cameras, mainly using SMPTE timecodes. For convenience, edits applied to one camera would be automatically reflected in the other, and adding one clip to the primary track would put the paired one in a secondary track. If necessary, linked clips could still be edited separately.
At the moment, Final Cut Pro X doesn't support native 3D editing, even though rival suites from Adobe and Sony do. Working with 3D instead requires third-party plugins; Apple may, however, be planning to update Final Cut with 3D in its next major version, or even in a point release.
The second patent covers an iOS interface that could adapt to a device in motion. Apple notes that when walking or running, it may be hard to hit some buttons on a touchscreen. To compensate, an iPhone's motion sensors could trigger changes like resized rows and icons, bigger response areas, and/or shifted content. iOS could even adjust for viewing angle, or apply a fisheye effect to highlight some interface elements over others. Over time, motion data could be recorded to predict where a person will try to aim their fingers.
Apple hasn't used motion compensation in any of its iOS devices except on a cosmetic level. Products like the iPhone 5s and iPad Air support a parallax effect for wallpaper, but keep every other UI element unaffected by movement.