Apple Awarded Key Multitouch Patents, Describe ‘Micro Gestures’, Other Touch Enhancements



Our friends over at PatentlyApple have this week uncovered a number of other key patents which relate to both user interaction and useability of Apple’s current (and future) multitouch gestures. The new patents focus on one aspect: Simplicity. Apple believes it needs to simplify its touch gestures in order to make them more memorable to users who choose to use them to navigate.

The interesting part is that these patents don’t just cover iOS, but also Mac OS X, too. In fact, Apple has this week been awarded key patents which cover the use of its multitouch technology in both a mobile and desktop environment.

Apple Wins Patent For Gestures That Could Emulate Mouse Functions – April 12, 2011

Apple has been granted a patent for gestures that could emulate mouse functions under the title “Detecting gestures on multi-event sensitive devices.” The interesting aspect of this patent is that it clearly focuses on hand gestures used on a desktop based touch display that would support Apple’s tilting iMac-like desktop patent revealed last summer.

One of the key focuses of Apple’s patent is on a desktop computer using a touch display. The patent points to operating systems like Linux and Unix to clarify it’s not talking about iOS.

There’s no mistaking that the patent isn’t talking about using a trackpad or Magic TrackPad for desktop use. To clarify, Apple’s patent background states that in recent times, more advanced gestures have been implemented. For example, scrolling could be initiated by placing four fingers on the touch pad so that the scrolling gesture is recognized and thereafter moving these fingers on the touch pad to perform scrolling events. The methods for implementing these advanced gestures, however, could be limited and in many instances counter intuitive. In certain applications, especially applications involving managing or editing media files using a computer system, hand gestures using touch screens could allow a user to more efficiently and accurately effect intended operations.

Apple’s solution relates to detecting gestures with event sensitive devices (such as a touch/proximity sensitive display) for effecting commands on a computer system.

Mid-drag and micro gestures would allow the operating system to intelligently recognize a gesture without the user having to fully complete it. Ohm and Wiggle are just a few of Apple’s known mid-drag gestures, and described as “multiple short movements with sharp changes in an arbitrary direction.”

Spaces for iPad, anyone?

[PatentlyApple via 9to5Mac]