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Apple patents "5D" technology

Apple's latest patent includes a futuristic interface

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent that allows users to interface with computers far beyond our current mice, keyboards, or motion controllers. According to Patently Apple, the patent was acquired from Canadian inventor Timothy Pryor and covers "electro-optical determination of temporary surface distortion caused by the physical input signal."

The patent is dubbed "5D" in that force-vector direction and magnitude of force is added to touch. The technology does not require special touchscreen to work, so the input device or screen can be made of any material. The patent also includes tactile feedback, 3D sensing capability, and the ability to detect complex figures.

The technology focuses on television-related applications and the patent includes optional stereoscopic 3D glasses. All told, Apple's patent could allow for 3D motion controls far surpassing the information that Microsoft's Kinect can currently. Could Apple upend gaming and television interfaces like it did the mobile market?

The full patent documentation can be found here.

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Latest comments (7)

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game4 years ago
Is this something they actually are developing or one of those random American patents where they patent something in case someone invents it?
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
(Puts on tinfoil cap): It's like the government making time travel illegal, Andrew. You know, just in case someone figures out that it's already been done and maybe they can do it too. Or something like that. The "5D" had me cracking up because when I think of "The 5th Dimension" I get a bit nostalgic for AM radio and the days of much better music.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Greg Wilcox on 25th July 2012 6:41am

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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 4 years ago
Sounds like a catch all patent and Apple haven't had much luck with those recently. Judges are getting savvy to the crap in these things as the Samsung case has shown.
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Show all comments (7)
John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London4 years ago
When I see 5D, I immediately think of those crappy 3D movies they show at theme parks where they rock your chair around and blow air in your face.
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Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve4 years ago
*Apple legal team rubs hands together and starts searching for fresh prey to feed on*
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Stephen Woollard Online Infrastructure Specialist, Electronic Arts4 years ago
I think we can all agree that Apple is basically looking for the next round of "this is ours, you can't have it" lawsuits.

I think the patent system needs a serious overhaul.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 4 years ago
Apple is claiming rights to stuff they arent working on or havent invented. they are just preventing others to do so. I think the patent system needs a serious overhaul too.
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