The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 55 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's second granted patent for a 3D in-air gesture system. Apple's first granted patent titled "Three-Dimensional user interface session control" was issued in May 2015. A year later Apple filed a continuation patent application titled "Three dimensional user interface session control using depth sensors," and tweaked the patent claims from 35 to 15 for this granted patent. Apple has already filed another continuation patent on this invention. With so many patent applications and granted patents on this invention over a short period of time it's clear that this is one that Apple is hoping could be adapted to future Macs in conjunction with their next-generation dual lens iSight camera that will first come to market next month on the iPhone 7. Just how close Apple is to delivering such a feature to future Macs is simply unknown at this time.
Apple's patent FIG. 2 is a schematic pictorial illustration of a user performing a push gesture; FIG. 3 is a schematic pictorial illustration of the user performing a wave gesture; and FIG. 5 is a schematic pictorial illustration of the user performing an up gesture.
Apple's patent FIGS. 6A, 6B, 6C, and 6D shown below are schematic pictorial illustrations of the non-tactile 3D user interface responding to vertical movement of the user's hand. This system could easily apply to Apple TV as well in the future.
Apple has also filed a second continuation patent on this invention back in September 2015 that differs from both current granted patents. In that patent once again the changes boiled down to tweaking the patent claims. For instance, one of the first changes is found in that patent was found in claim one describing the following:
"A method, comprising: associating, in a computer executing a non-tactile three dimensional (3D) user interface, multiple regions, comprising at least first and second regions, within a field of view of a sensing device coupled to the computer with respective states of the non-tactile 3D user interface, comprising at least first and second states associated respectively with the first and second regions; receiving a set of multiple 3D coordinates representing a hand movement from the first region to the second region; and responsively to the movement, transitioning the non-tactile 3D user interface from the first state to the second state."
Apple's granted patent 9,417,706 was filed in Q2 2015 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
One More Thing on the Topic of 3D Interfaces
While we're on the topic of 3D interfaces, we posted a granted patent report last week titled "Apple Wins a Patent for Greatly Advancing 3D Parallax Effects via iOS Devices with a 3D Camera." That report was based on granted patent 9,411,413 titled "Three dimensional user interface effects on a display." Today, a second patent was granted (9,417,763) to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office regarding the same invention but with slightly different patent claims. Today's granted patent is titled "Three dimensional user interface effects on a display by using properties of motion." The addition in the official patent title of the words "by using properties of motion" would indicate the emphasis Apple is focused on in this patent.
Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments.