Aug.23, 2013

An very interesting news in this week is about Apple, which received a new patent for an advanced version of its operating software which can allow users to design 3D objects.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday officially published Apple patent No. 8,514,221 (Nicholas V. King and Todd Benjamin are credited as the inventors), which covers how to generate and manipulate a three-dimensional object on a computing device, by lifting your fingers and then manipulating it through gestures.

The patent, which was filed in July 2012 and is entitled "Working with 3D objects", describes a system that detects a touch input and a 3D gesture input to a surface. A 3D object can be generated in a user interface based on the 3D gesture input and the touch input or 2D gesture input.

According to the patent, the device has touch sensors that can sense positions and movements of user's fingers contacting a surface of the display, and proximity sensors that can sense positions and movements of user's fingers in a three-dimensional space.

The user can touch display surface at two touch points to control the object in two dimensions. A triangle can be generated by pinching and pulling out a portion of the surface. In reaction, the object would follow user's fingers to become three dimensional.

Techniques and systems that support generating, modifying, and manipulating 3D objects using 3D gesture inputs are disclosed. For example, 3D objects can be generated based on 2D objects. A first user input identifying a 2D object presented in a user interface can be detected, and a second 3D gesture input that includes a movement in proximity to a surface can be detected. A 3D object can be generated based on the 2D object according to the first and second user inputs, and the 3D object can be presented in the user interface where the 3D object can be manipulated by the user.

But how would the user see the 3D objects? Unfortunately you still need 3D glasses. The application said: "The 3D display can be an autostereoscopic display that uses lenticular lenses or parallax barriers. The 3D display can provide images having different polarizations intended for left or right eyes, and can be viewed by users wearing polarized 3D glasses."

One interesting application for the new technology include the ability to use 3D gestures to sculpt using virtual clay-like materials. Depending on the finger movements, indentations may be formed in the object and portions of the object may be squeezed smaller while other portions may be enlarged. A "pinch-twist-and-pull" gesture input can also be used to twist and break off a portion from the main body of an object.

Although Samsung Galaxy S4 also uses "Air Gesture" technology to control the device through a light sensor, Apple's patent is believed to be more advanced - it can be integrated into the operating system. It doesn't seem likely that we will see this in Apple's upcoming September event, but Apple's tech could turn an iPad into a hybrid touchscreen/motion controlled device in the future, that is definitely something to look forward to.


Posted in 3D Software



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