Apple is due to take gesture-based navigation to the next level, as it gets patented for a technology that can interpret real-world gestures on touch and hover sensitive devices.
The technology details a method whereby real-world gestures like OK, grasp everything, stamp of approval, circle select X to delete, knock to inquire, hitchhiker directional gestures, and shape gestures can be interpreted by a touch device or a hover sensitive device.
The technology will avail multiple gestures which can be used for identification to allow access to applications and files.
Gestures are used in touch-based devices like iPad and Android phones to perform operations like zooming, paging, scrolling, panning etc. Also certain advanced gestures have been added like placing four fingers on a touch-based device can be identified as a gesture for scrolling by devices.
Recently, Apple released its iOS 4.3 beta for developers, which encompasses new gesture-based navigation for the iPad 2. Some gestures due to hit iPad 2 include four and five finger gestures. This will add multitasking features to iPad. Thus a four or five finger pinch will lead a user to the home screen, a swiping up gesture will bring the multitasking bar and left and right swipes will assist in navigating between apps.
The patent also states that the current capacitive touch screens are capable of reading movements hovering over the screen within the near field of the panel but they are classified as weak touches.
The patent explains that hovering gestures can be interpreted using proximity sensor panel used in conjunction with touch sensor panels. The hovering gestures are captured by the proximity sensor as an image which is then converted to features to be interpreted by the device.
The real world gestures patent was filed in June 2007 and the inventors are named as Wayne Carl Westerman and Myra Mary Haggerty.
Apple also received a patent for Magic Glove System which allows users to navigate on a touch screen without removing a glove.
The glove basically has an outer layer which is used for protection and an inner layer with conductive thread. When a user has to use a touch-screen one has to remove the outer layer and navigate using the inner layer which has a protruded lining.
However, the invention just leaves one surmising if Apple devices iPad and iPhone will only be compatible with Apple approved proprietary gloves.