Gestures for touch sensitive input devices- looks very much like a GUI for a tablet with a touch sensitive screen. Clearly, there are lots of example of prior art but Apple has put a lot of thought into this and hopefully it is a glimpse of a future product. Patent application here:Gestures for touch sensitive input devices .
Basically, the patent apps detail method for recognising data from a multipoint touch sensitive display and interpreting this data to allow things like zooming in on an image etc (a bit like the two finger scrolling on new Powerbooks enables window scrolling). An example they show is the zooming in on a map where a pinching action results on zooming where the pinch occurs- the opposite action of pinching results in zooming out. Rotating your finger results in- you guessed it- rotation of the image! (see the animation at the bottom of this page)
The key to the patent is the multipoint nature of the input- multiple fingers/hands being moved on the screen in gestures which result in specific changes.
Further elements include how the very OS X-like interface would respond to touching- elements such as the gum-drop close boxes would magnify when the user passes their finger over them- to make clicking the individual elements easier (See Visual expander section below).
Floating controls- certain gestures would result in floating controls poping up on the screen and enabling interaction- e.g. to enable easy scrolling a virtual click-wheel (looking very like the iPods clickwheel) would pop up- terrific for navigating iTunes etc- turning the volume up-down on your Apple iHome.
These patent apps are certainly a step forward from the Newton UI and indicates Apple, at least, has contingency plans for an Apple tablet- with their top designer (Jonathan Ive) one of the inventors listed on the patents.
Additionally, a virtual keyboard would enable typing on the tablet- the value of this would be debatable but it would allow reasonable user input.
The invention generally pertains to gestures and methods of implementing gestures with touch sensitive devices. Examples of touch sensitive devices include touch screens and touch pads. One aspect of the invention relates to recognizing at least two simultaneously occurring gestures. Another aspect of the invention relates to displaying a graphical image and linking different touches that occur to the graphical image. Another aspect of the invention relates to immediately recognizing gestures so that actions associated with the gestures can be implemented at the same time. Another aspect of the invention relates to changing a displayed image based on and in unison with a gestural input, i.e., the displayed image continuously changes with changes in the gestural input such that the displayed image continuously follows the gestural input. Another aspect of the invention relates to implementing an input mode based on the number of fingers (or other object) in contact with the input device. Another aspect of the invention relates to providing region sensitivity where gestures mean different things when implemented over different areas of the input device. Another aspect of the invention relates to changing an input while making continuous contact with the touch sensitive surface of the touch sensitive device.
The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a computer implemented method. The method includes presenting a graphical user interface (GUI). the method also includes sensing an object over the graphical user interface. The method further includes visually expanding an area of GUI near the sensed object. The method additionally includes if the expanded area includes a selectable feature, performing an action associated with the feature when the feature is selected. The method further includes if the sensed object is moving over the GUI, moving the expanded area in accordance with the moving object. Moreover, the method includes if the object is no longer sensed, maintaining the expansion of the expanded area in the last sensed location for a predetermined amount of time.
Another patent app in this mix- is a music mixer. This mixer is like the tablet described above - a touch sensitive screen with a virtual mixing panel (see picture at bottom of story).
An electronic apparatus, such as an electronic mixing apparatus and an electronic keyboard apparatus, and associated methods are disclosed. The electronic mixing apparatus or the electronic keyboard apparatus is provided on a touch screen that provides user input and display capabilities. In one embodiment, the touch screen is a multipoint touch screen so that multiple user touch inputs can be simultaneously acquired. In another embodiment, surface guides can be provided on the touch screen to assist with user input.