Apple’s Latest Patent: Hover Touch

| News

Apple, apparently seeking increasingly-unique ways for people to interact with hardware, was recently awarded a patent for “hover sensitive” input with devices. Admittedly, the patent was filed in 2007 as part of a batch that preceded the original iPhone’s introduction, so this could be yet another patent that never sees the light of day as a real product.

AppleInsider said the patent “describes a method for detecting and interpreting real-world gestures on ‘touch and hover sensitive devices.’ Examples of real-world gestures include ‘OK gestures,’ ‘grasp everything gestures,’ ‘stamp of approval gestures,’ ‘X to delete gestures,’ and even ‘hitchhiker directional gestures.’” 

enter alt text
Apple’s concept of an “Okay to delete this” hover touch.

The web site also quoted from the patent: “Although capacitive touch sensor panels can detect objects hovering within the near-field of the panel, and appear to be ‘weak’ touches, in some embodiments proximity sensor panels can be co-located with touch sensor panels to provide hover detection capabilities outside the near-field hover detection capabilities of capacitive touch sensor panels. These proximity sensor panels can be arranged as an array of proximity sensors that can be scanned in a manner similar to the scanning of a touch sensor panel to generate an ‘image’ of hover.”

Sign Up for the Newsletter

Join the TMO Express Daily Newsletter to get the latest Mac headlines in your e-mail every weekday.

Comments

Intruder

But what I really want is a hover board!

Lee Dronick

But what I really want is a hover board!

I almost had an early model of one. Seriously, had I not retired from the Navy I would have been assigned as a Craftmaster of an LCAC, a hovercraft. I had a teenage son who needed more fathering than I needed adventure, so I retired. Well I wanted the adventure, but I was being a good a parent.

Getting back in topic. I can see a use for this technology in kiosks. The downside could be if it was the only input, I am thinking those who are missing fingers and use a prosthetic.

ctopher

@Sir Harry. Didn’t Craftmaster make those adjustable beds? smile

BurmaYank

How neat it would be to input text using American Sign Language!

No doubt these gestures will not be user-programable, but if they were, here is what I would employ:
- “Delete” command:  “The Bird”
- “Save” command:  “Live Long and Prosper”

BurmaYank

No doubt these gestures will not be user-programable, but if they were, here is what I would employ:
- ?Delete? command:? ?The Bird?
- ?Save? command:? ?Live Long and Prosper?

and,
- ?Save As? command:? ?Live Long and Prosper?, followed by index finger pointing.

Log-in to comment