Apple Researching Motion-Sensing Virtual 3D User Interface for iOS Devices

Patently Apple reports on a newly-published patent application from Apple describing the use of motion sensors to create a virtual three-dimensional interface for iOS devices. Utilizing concepts similar those found in a number of existing augmented reality apps, the general device interface could appear as a virtual room that could be navigated by changing the orientation of the device.

The invention covers a 3D display environment for mobile device that uses orientation data from one or more onboard sensors to automatically determine and display a perspective projection of the 3D display environment based on the orientation data without the user physically interacting with (e.g., touching) the display.

Apple describes the use of gyroscope sensors that would allow the "camera view" of the virtual room to rotate as the user rotates their device. Apple also mentions that sensors could be used to detect gestures above the surface of the device's display in order to allow for natural 3D manipulation of the user interface environment.


Finally, Apple's patent application discusses a "snap to" feature that would allow users to easily transition between various "walls" within the virtual room.

In another patent application filed in mid-2007, Apple discussed a similar notion of multi-dimensional desktops in Mac OS X, showing a virtual room with various groups of icons on the different walls of the room. Apple followed that up with another patent application looking at hyper-reality displays that would allow for orientation- and motion-based manipulation of 3D objects.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses
Tag: patent

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
115 months ago
In a flash I read Apple adopting a Research In Motion interface. The horror.

On Topic:

I still don't believe in 3D interfaces/screens. My eyes get strained after a while. But then again, Apple is usually implementing technologies when they believe they have something really good to offer.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
115 months ago
Imagine the lag if Jailbroken.. geez
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
115 months ago
It reminds me of this (//www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFUlAQZB9Ng), an interface I thought looked clumsy even in 1993.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
115 months ago

crazy, weird and illogical, indeed.


Thanks! I aim to please. :-)

----------

Do you have something in mind? I really like how it is.


The best thing about iOS is its ability to quickly get out of your way. There's almost nothing between you and your apps and data. Just a few swipes to get to the right page of icons, then a tap to launch the app itself.

So, what's the glaringly obvious way to make it even easier to get to a specific app?

"Siri, launch Maps." And "Siri, open MacRumors.com." No bizarre 3-d "walls" needed.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
115 months ago
There are several apps in the App Store that already do exactly this, *even on iOS*.

If the US Patents Office doesn't throw this out under prior art instantly the place may as well get burnt down.

Phazer
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
115 months ago
I may be 100% wrong here so forgive me, but doesn't the 3DS already do this? I was under the impression that the screen does software based 3d rendering using facial tracking to determine where you are, thus where the 3d display needs to position the content.

I could be way off so any input from a 3DS owner would help!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

Apple Distributing New Heated Display Removal Machine for iPhone 12 Repairs

Thursday October 22, 2020 6:20 pm PDT by
Apple is providing Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers with a new heated display removal fixture for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro repairs, according to information obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source. To open iPhone 12 models, technicians will be required to slide the device into a specialized tray, and then place the tray into the high-temperature fixture for two...

Apple VP Kaiann Drance Interview Addresses Battery Life, MagSafe, and Power Adapter Concerns

Friday October 23, 2020 3:37 am PDT by
Apple's Vice President of iPhone Marketing, Kaiann Drance, has provided a new interview to Rich DeMuro on the Rich on Tech Podcast, to discuss the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Although much of the interview repeated points from Apple's "Hi, Speed" event, there were a number of interesting tidbits regarding the affect of 5G on battery life, MagSafe concerns, and the lack of a power adapter in...

Teardown Video Confirms iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Use Same 2,815mAh Battery

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:47 am PDT by
With the iPhone 12 launching on Friday and in just a few hours to Australia and New Zealand, hands-on videos, teardowns, reviews, and other iPhone-related content has been coming out. A new teardown video delves into both the iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro, confirming battery life for both models and giving us a closer look at their internals. The video from Io Technology is in Chinese, but ...

Images of Supposed AirPods Diagnosis Tool Shared Online

Thursday October 22, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Apple is reportedly rolling out a new tool to Apple service providers for testing AirPods, according to leaker known as "Fudge," who shared images of the tool on Twitter. Apple appears to be seeking to reduce unnecessary AirPods services by more accurately diagnosing the cause of a fault. Instances of a dirt-blockage, which may be difficult to ascertain visually, can apparently be...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Apple's AirTags Revealed in Newly Published Patent Applications

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:13 am PDT by
Two patent applications filed by Apple appear to depict the company's widely expected AirTags item trackers (via Patently Apple). The filings, which include a large number of images, are titled "Mounting Base for a Wirelessly Locatable Tag" and "Fastener with a Constrained Retention Ring," and describe a wirelessly locatable tag that can be used to determine the absolute location of an...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...