Apple has been granted a television related patent that covers 5D technology, interactive gaming, video conferencing, advanced tactile feedback technology, virtual reality gloves, and a unique touch signature that could be used to start a car, for example.
The US Patent and Trademark Office published the patent on Tuesday, and Patently Apple describes it as “wild”, “crazy”, and “extraordinary”. The patent was acquired by Apple from inventor Timothy Pryor, and “is a sweeping patent covering the widest range of applications that I’ve ever seen,” wrote Patently Apple.
In a method similar to that found in the Kinect or Wii, Apple has covered sensors that could be used to determine human or object position in its patent. These sensors could be built into a television set to allow human interaction, and are not limited to one object or just the overall location of an object, but could be expanded to detect gestures and movements. This indicates that Apple may include interactive gaming in its television set, and may eliminate the need for a remote control.
To add even more virtual control, the user may use “data gloves” that can provide the computer with finger and joint positions. This can enable the human to rotate objects shown on a screen by using gestures. Similar technology was used by Tom Cruise in the movie “Minority Report,” Patently Apple points out.
Also touched on in the new patent is the ability for a car owner, for example, to start their vehicle using a “taught signature,” which could someone’s palm. Divers who know how to type but cannot see the keys could use a special type of floating keyboard, says Apple.
The patent covers touch screen technology that would be able to detect pressure, therefore enabling users to create thicker or thinner lines without needing to change tools in an application. The screen could be made out of any material including Kevlar, says Apple, which could be useful in firing ranges to detect where a bullet hits the screen and at what force.
Tactile feedback that could include air blasts and vibration could “easily” be added to a touch surface, Apple’s patent describes.
Read the expansive patent description as filed by Apple to gain more insight into the technology that is now owned by the company. It’s an interesting read, giving a real sense of what the future could hold for technology and the way we use it.