Gesture Controls Rumored For Next iPhone - InformationWeek

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Commentary
3/3/2010
12:07 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Gesture Controls Rumored For Next iPhone

The latest rumors on the next iPhone release say the mobile platform will get gesture-based technology. As far as phones go, Apple pretty much invented flick-based technology where your finger controls the contents of the screen, replacing the stylus that came about over a decade earlier. Now they may take it to the next level with gestures.

The latest rumors on the next iPhone release say the mobile platform will get gesture-based technology. As far as phones go, Apple pretty much invented flick-based technology where your finger controls the contents of the screen, replacing the stylus that came about over a decade earlier. Now they may take it to the next level with gestures.What exactly are gestures? As fellow blogger Eric Zeman pointed out last week, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty mentioned this gesture-based technology in her report on new iPhones, along with the reduced prices. In trying to figure out what she meant, the All Things Digital blog ran to the patent office to go over recent filings by Apple and see what it could be.

There is one patent for a touch-sensitive bezel that would turn the screen's bezel into a control surface. This could control a number of things depending on how the OS used it. Swiping the screen in a browser for instance would move the page up and down. Swiping the bezel though could be used to zoom in or out with just one finger. It would also be used to quickly cycle through favorite apps.

There is also something called camera-based swipe controls that would allow one handed control over the device. Just wave your finger in the air in front of the camera and the page of a book could turn. Now, not only can you appear to talk to yourself with your nearly invisible Bluetooth headset, you could be quite animated in front of the phone's camera to get it to do your bidding. You'll be locked up for sure.

I think I'll wait to see how Apple implements these patents, if at all, before getting too excited about it. Or, better yet, let's see how HTC implements them and wait for Apple to sue them. Now that will be an interesting show to watch.

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