Apple took multitouch gestures to a new level with the launch of the original iPhone. The iPhone 6s brought the concept even further, adding 3D Touch to detect pressure. Now it seems that future iOS devices may include the space above the screen as another level of input. In a patent granted this week the company details methods for hover detection, which could be used to sense gestures made without contacting the display surface at all.
A patent application filed by Apple in August 2008 shows some novel ways to interact with the iPhone. Swiping over the camera lens and a series of taps on the back of the iPhone are described as a way to control voicemail playback while the iPhone is against the head.
Holding the iPhone in the hand would make the camera lens react differently, controlling calling options or scrolling through contacts lists or web pages. Taps would be detected through an accelerometer inside the device.
Next Wednesday Apple will announce several new products at its special media event in San Francisco. Pictured is the invitation the company sent out to selected media outlets today.
Sources inside Apple have reportedly confirmed that iPhone OS version 4.0 will be announced along with a new touch screen tablet computing device. In addition, Apple will be announcing iLife 2010 software that will support multi-touch.
The mobile version of Microsoft's Bing search engine has been revamped and now supports touch screen devices such as the iPhone. The touch-optimized interface (m.bing.com) is currently only available to users in the US.
Mobile phones that don't support the touch interface are forwarded to a simpler version of the site. Microsoft has also added additional features to the mobile search engine including a visual search movie finder and a real-time data search. Examples of real-time information available include airline flight delays and NFL scores and stats.
More information has surfaced about the Apple media pad, a touch-screen device larger than an iPhone with the functionality of a netbook. Barron's reports on an unnamed "veteran analyst" who claims to have held the prototype device in his own hands.
The source describes a slate-style computer only six weeks away from the final design stages that would be announced in September and hit shelves in November. Manufacturers of key components have already been described in industry publications.