On Christmas day 2014 the U.S. Patent and Trademark office reveals one of PrimeSense's key technologies relating to a 3D sensing device that is operated using a unique in-air gesturing system and user interface. The technology found its way into Microsoft's Kinect. The system could one day find its way into Apple TV and future Macs.
On December 4, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a unique laser beam mapping invention. A future mapping application for an iDevice like an iPhone will use a laser sensor and laser beam to gather measurements of a room that includes shapes, distances, attributes of environmental objects and volume. While Apple's patent application provides us with an overview of the technical of the invention, they never really reveal the many applications that this invention could be applied to in the future. More than likely Apple will expand upon this invention in the future so as to provide us with more insight as to how consumers will be able to take advantage of this new laser beam system for iDevices that cover everything from an iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. While Apple is careful to not mention the word 3D, the nature of the measurements would suggest that the data collected in three axis mode would create a 3D model. It's definitely one of Apple's most interesting inventions of the year.