Apple has been given a fresh crop of newly-awarded patents, including an interface patent that covers “electro-optical determination of temporary surface distortion caused by the physical input signal.”
The patent was filed for in 2009 and was acquired by the Cupertino company from Canadian inventor Timothy Pryor. Patently Apple explains the ‘5D’ patent as “…a new type of data entry device for computers and other electronic equipment generally in the category of digitizers and touch screens having several unique properties” and the patent covers the measurement of “force-vector direction as well as the magnitude of force” without resorting to a special screen. Tactile feedback from the screen, 3D sensing and detection of complicated figured are also covered by the patent.
This 5D technology is focused on TV and related media and, as GamesIndustry points out, a practical implementation of Apple’s latest patent could outstrip what Microsoft’s Kinect is capable of in terms of 3D motion controls.
Source: Patently Apple