Apple Details iOS User Interface That Compensates for Device Motion

Apple has received a patent -- originally filed for in 2007, when the original iPhone was only months old -- that allows an iOS device to adjust its screen to make it easier for users to interact with the touchscreen when it detects movement (via AppleInsider).

For example, play and next/previous track buttons on the lock screen, or listings in the Contacts app, could get larger if the iPhone detects that the user is jogging. It could also have items like app buttons on the home screen move themselves slightly to give the illusion of stability.

Apple proposes using the gyroscope, proximity sensor, accelerometer and other sensors to detect movement and the angle of the display, with the iPhone then adjusting user interface elements to prevent touch errors. It also learns about how the user touches the display, allowing it to better correct for errors in the future.

Patent

In general, one aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can be embodied in methods that include the actions of detecting a pattern of motion of a device; and adjusting a graphical user interface of the device in response to the detected pattern of motion. Other embodiments of this aspect include corresponding systems, apparatus, devices, computer program products, and computer readable media.

In general, another aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can be embodied in methods that include the actions of detecting a motion of a device; comparing the detected motion to a predetermined signature of motion; and adjusting a graphical user interface of the device based on the comparing. Other embodiments of this aspect include corresponding systems, apparatus, devices, computer program products, and computer readable media.

Particular embodiments of the subject matter described in this specification can be implemented to realize one or more of the following advantages. Loss in accuracy of a user's interactions with a touch-sensitive display of a device or user mistakes with respect to the selection of user interface elements on a touch-sensitive display, due to movement of the user and/or the device, is mitigated. A device user interface can be adjusted to provide better visibility or usability.

The patent was originally filed for back in 2007 and Apple has not yet implemented the design into iOS. Apple frequently files for patents on inventions that it never uses commercially, but something similar could appear in iOS in the future.

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Top Rated Comments

partyHat24 Avatar
136 months ago
I hope it can tell when you're not sober. That would be so helpful.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ptb42 Avatar
136 months ago
Cool I can use that while i'm driving to text message.

I saw a fun bumper sticker yesterday:

Honk if you love Jesus.
Text if you want to meet him.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
afro-ninja Avatar
136 months ago
Looks kinda like iOS 7 - now that's foresight :p
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tankmaze Avatar
136 months ago
Apple proposes using the gyroscope, proximity sensor, accelerometer and other sensors to detect movement and the angle of the display, with the iPhone then adjusting user interface elements to prevent touch errors. It also learns about how the user touches the display, allowing it to better correct for errors in the future.

Gosh, reading about it made my head explode. Hats off to Apple engineers for trying to implement this.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
proline Avatar
136 months ago
Interesting to me that this was filed in 2007, well before the gyroscope was put into an iPhone, yet included in the patent. The plans to were set, generations away! But that shouldn't be surprising.

EDIT: I guess I was thinking of the iPhone 4 gyroscope that included more axis (3 axis).
Good observation for sure. I always find it funny how many pundits obsess about how Apple 'needs to' come out with a quick, knee jerk response to whatever the story of the day is- netbooks, smart watches, phablets, whatever. The fact is that designing quality devices takes several years and requires vision and commitment. Coming up with some garbage to fill your blog in the meantime, well, that's a little easier.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Surreal Avatar
136 months ago
The patent does not sound like what Marco was doing.


The patent sounds like a much more straightforward-to-implement idea where you make the device easier via interface changes rather than 'stabilization'. An exaggerated example would be if the music app simply changed to 4 giant buttons because tapping small buttons is hard while jogging.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)