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Apple patent points to in-air 3D gesture UI for Apple TV, Mac and beyond

15/01/2015 by Sharon Shahzad

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One month after receiving a patent reassignment from Israel-based 3D mapping R&D firm PrimeSense, Apple on Tuesday was granted another property detailing possible software implementations to go along with previously outlined motion-sensing hardware. 

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office assigned Apple U.S. Patent No. 8,933,876 for "Three dimensional user interface session control," or more plainly, a software UI for use with PrimeSense's motion-sensing hardware. 

In practice, the patented system incorporates a motion and depth-sensing optical sensor, outlined in a previously reassigned patent, with proprietary software to create a three-dimensional non-tactile user interface capable of recognizing and translating user gestures into computer commands. 

Specifically, the invention takes tracking, motion and depth input data from the camera/sensor setup and applies it to a 3D user interface. Users move their hand along multiple points, recognized in a 3D coordinate plane along X, Y and Z axes, to create gestures that are then processed by a host computer as app or system commands. In one example, a user can unlock the system UI with a rising gesture made along a vertical axis.

According to the patent, the device itself moves in between three distinct operating states, including any combination of locked/unlocked, tracked/not tracked and active/inactive. For example, if a sensing device is locked, it may also be ignoring user input — not tracking — to avoid inadvertent unlocking commands. In this scenario, the UI would also remain in an inactive state.

Users may alert the device to an incoming unlock command by performing a "focus gesture." These specialized movements engage the device, bringing it out of a not tracked/inactive state to locked/tracking/active. For example, a focus gesture could entail a "push" or "wave" of the hand that, when correctly recognized the sensor, enables motion tracking and activates the UI.

This article has been extracted from http://appleinsider.com, please click on this link to read the article in full http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/01/13/apple-patent-points-to-in-air-3d-gesture-user-interface-for-apple-tv-mac-and-beyond-

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Montash is headquartered in Old Street, London, in the heart of the technology hub. Montash has completed assignments in over 30 countries and has appointed technical professionals from board level to senior and mid management in permanent and contract roles.

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