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Apple Patents 3D Interface for iPhone

The American company is still working non-stop. Now, Apple has obtained a new contactless, gesture-moving sensor patent with a 3D interface concept for the iPhone . This comes just at the time when Cupertino’s has obtained the first reallocated patent related to 3D mapping technology after the acquisition of PrimeSense last fall, a company that was key to the development of Microsoft’s Kinect.

Looking back, in July 2010 Apple applied for a patent called “Ambient Based Display Sensor”, which would be related to this 3D interface. However, it has not been until now that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has officially granted it .

Apple Patents 3D Interface for iPhoneApple Patents 3D Interface for iPhone

This new Apple-patented technology features several 3D user interfaces . This three-dimensional effect would be a projection in perspective and could be appreciated without the need to use special glasses. On the other hand, the patent describes a situation where the device would be able to detect movement above the screen, which would be detected by the integrated proximity sensors.

The 3D interface would be able to recognize movement

As shown in the drawings illustrating this new patent, Apple describes 3D user interfaces that use various integrated sensors to automatically determine the perspective of the projection in three dimensions based on the environment and orientation data . According to the description, this would be possible without the user physically touching the screen.

As we have said before, one of the examples accompanying the patent tells of a situation in which the device is able to detect movements made by the user above the touch screen (without touching it) thanks to the proximity sensors built into it. In this way, we can think that they could somehow include the interaction with the 3D projections.

This is not the first time that Cupertino’s people have dealt with 3D user interface concepts and the use of sensors to detect gestures as Microsoft’s Kinect does. Recent rumours suggest that the US company would be working on a glasses-free 3D technology for the iPhone screen, which leads many to believe that Apple would be getting closer to introducing this feature.

Apple is working on its own version of Kinect

On the other hand, since 9to5Mac they comment that it’s been a little more than a year since Cupertino bought PrimeSense, company that originally gave this technology to Microsoft to help in the development of Kinect . All was quiet until now when the company transferred one of the patents to the US company related to a 3D mapping technology.

This leads us to think that since Apple they would be working on a technology similar to that of Kinect . The patent in question is called “Projector lens assembly”, which is what is used to divide the original source of the infrared light into a uniform field of light points. This makes it possible to track movements much more precisely and it is believed that this could be part of new projects. For example, there is talk of a gesture-responsive version of software for Apple TV or MacBook.

On the other hand, we must not forget other patents related to the screens obtained by Apple in recent times . For example, a couple of months ago they registered one related to flexible screens, for which they seem to show more interest than ever.

Do you think we will ever see an iPhone capable of projecting 3D images on the screen without the need to wear glasses?