On June 14th, according to the PatentlyApple website, the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) recently granted Apple a patent for hovering technology, allowing users to manipulate devices through their fingers or Apple Pencil.It is understood that Apple’s latest patent reveals that the company is exploring the possibility of using a finger or Apple Pencil to approach the screen in order to operate without touching the device. By creating a hover-enhanced gesture that does not rely on a continuous touch screen, it will give users a new type of control experience.
Currently, smart device hover gestures exist in some very limited functions, but they are not popular. Their problem is that they cannot work seamlessly with traditional touch interfaces. The touch screen and the non-contact screen may adopt two sets of gesture systems, which increases the user’s learning cost.
The US Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a patent on Tuesday for “devices, methods, and user interfaces that interact with user interface objects based on proximity and contact-based input.” The main direction of the patent is to address the two areas.In Apple’s solution, one or more sensors are used to detect the proximity of an input object above the touch-sensitive surface and the strength of contact with the display.
The patent, titled “Devices, Methods, and User Interfaces for Interacting with User Interface Objects Based on Proximity and Contact-Based Inputs,” is designed to explore the use of a finger or Apple Pencil to access the screen and operate without touching the screen.
This hover-enhanced gesture, which does not rely on continuous touch screens, will give users a whole new control experience. Because in many cases, it needs to be solved by not touching the screen, such as the hands are inconvenient or the position of the device is placed, and the angle is not suitable for finger touch.
At present, although some smart devices already support gesture control, the functions are extremely limited and have not reached the level of universal use. Their problem is that they can’t work seamlessly with traditional touch interfaces. In addition, the touch screen and the non-contact screen may adopt two sets of gesture systems, which increases the user’s learning cost.
In Apple’s solution, one or more sensors are used to detect the proximity and contact intensity of an input object (such as a stylus or finger) above the surface of the screen, and to see how far the stylus or finger is from the screen. The angle and position of the stylus and when to touch the screen with a specific intensity or pressure.In addition, the patent describes how the interface object can be moved around to track the hovering position of the stylus or finger to achieve a similar effect as a straight contact screen.
Apple said the technology will support iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch in the future, and may also support iMac, MacBook, MacBook Trackpad, Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad.