On January 26 Patently Apple posted a report titled "Surprisingly Facebook was granted a Patent for 3D Gesturing on a Smartphone." This was the same week that the news of Hugo Barra was joining Facebook to lead their Virtual Reality business. The patent that we revealed related to a possible future Facebook smartphone. This week Patently Apple also discovered Facebook's granted patent for scrolling a large image on a tablet by simply tilting the device. While Facebook was granted the patent in October 2016, this week a continuation patent surfaced regarding that invention, proving patent is quite active.
Facebook's patent FIGS. 1A-F are wireframes illustrating scrolling an image by tilting the tablet. FIG. 1A shows the full image, FIG. 1B shows the user tilting the tablet and 1C-1F shows the image moving from left to right.
In describing their invention Facebook states that "When an image is displayed on a screen that is not big enough to display the whole of the image at once, particular embodiments may enable a user to scroll the image in one or more directions, along one or more axes, by using a tilting motion. The image may comprise any visual content that can be displayed on the screen, including, by way of example and not limitation, a photo, a number of photos represented as a photo album, a list of emails, a web page, a map, a visual representation of a library of music, a video game, or a technical diagram.
The computing device may determine a scroll range for the image, measure initial tilt according to a gyroscope, and determine an origin position for the image. Once the computing device receives an indication from the gyroscope that movement satisfying a threshold for activating scrolling has been satisfied, the computing device calculates a progress parameter, based on the input from the sensor(s) and the scroll range. The computing device then updates the presentation of the image based on the progress parameter. As the computing device continues to receive indications from the sensor(s) that movement is detected, the computing device continues to update presentation of the image appropriately. The computing device may also receive user input to re-calibrate the origin position, at which point scrolling may continue based on the new origin position."
As they and others develop video games for the Oculus VR headset, it's obvious that they're planning for these games to play on other Facebook devices.
Facebook filed their latest updated to their granted patent in September 2016 and the U.S. Patent Office published it in January 2017.