Apple’s Latest Patent: Hover Touch

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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.’” 

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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.”

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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.


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


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”


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?

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

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