A new juicy Apple patent has been filed with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for a so called “Sensor Based Display Environment”. This shows that Apple is most likely researching on a motion-based 3D interface for its upcoming iOS devices. Even though, some voices are saying that there is no reason why such technology could not be implemented in a Mac.
"Due to the limited size of the typical display on a mobile device, a 3D GUI can be difficult to navigate using conventional means, such as a finger or stylus. For example, to view different perspectives of the 3D GUI, two hands are often needed: one hand to hold the mobile device and the other hand to manipulate the GUI into a new 3D perspective."
Within the patent, Apple carefully describes the use of gyroscope sensors that will enable the “camera view” of the virtual room to rotate, at the same time the user rotates the device itself. It certainly looks possible that these sensors could be used to detect gestures above the surface of the device’s display. This way the 3D manipulation of the user interface environment will become extremely natural.
You might be wondering what the advantages of using such 3D based user interfaces are. Well, have you ever tried imagining the next-generation apps? They will certainly be carrying augmented reality features, so such an interface would become vital when handling them.
The patent was first filled back in July 2010 and credit for the invention has been given to Mister Patrick Piedmonte.