Apple Patent Describes 3D Motion-Controlled iPhone Interface

| News

Apple’s latest patent filing, which was filed in July 2010 and made public this week by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), details a new iPhone interface concept in which the user relies on motion controls to interact with a 3D environment. However, this is not 3D in the sense of images springing off the screen; the patent filing refers to it as 3D images built with polygons.

According to AppleInsider, the interface “uses orientation data from onboard sensors, like a gyroscope and compass, to navigate the system.” A picture accompanying the patent filing shows a virtual room that the user could look around in by moving their device; a “snap to” feature would allow the user to automatically switch to a specific view through a preset action, such as shaking the iPhone.

As with all of Apple’s patent filings, a healthy dose of salt should be taken with this one. Apple spends a significant amount of money on research and development and files many patents on a regular basis; the resulting intellectual property may or may not bear fruit some day.

In fact, according to Fairview Research, Apple filed 676 patents in 2011, good for 39th place on a list of most-active USPTO filers. IBM was number one with over 6,000 filings.

Popular TMO Stories



This gave me an idea for a game. If anyone wants to use it you’re free to. I’m not a coder.

You’ve seen Escher’s “House of Stairs”.
You’ve seen those games where you tilt to roll a marble through a maze.

Combine the two with a nice 3D view and a rubbery blob instead of a marble. Use the iPhone’s gravity sensor to move the blob through these Escherian landscapes.

I think you could make a really compelling game.

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account