Future iPhones could offer control with finger swipes over camera

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Finger swipes over the iPhone's camera could at some point allow in-call control of functions such as fast forwarding or rewinding a voicemail, according to a new patent application from Apple.



In addition to a camera detecting the direction of a finger swipe, the phone's accelerometer could also be used to interpret a user tapping the iPhone, allowing control of the handset while on a call without taking the phone away from one's ear.



The application revealed this week, entitled "Camera as Input Interface," was originally filed for on Aug. 21, 2008. It is credited to Chad Seguin, Justin Gregg and Michael Lee.



The invention aims to make it easier to control a phone by utilizing the camera at times when it is typically idle. It describes fast forwarding or rewinding of a voicemail by swiping a finger across the camera, or pausing and resuming playback by tapping the back of the phone.



"These actions allow the user to control functions of voicemail review without removing the device from over his ear," the application reads.







The functionality could potentially extend beyond voicemail, allowing users to merge calls, place calls on hold, or switch between multiple simultaneous calls by simply tapping the device. Such controls could be customized by the user to their liking.



Apple could also choose to adopt the control method for traditional phone use, in addition to in-call controls.



"Furthermore, a user may navigate a document being shown on a display screen of the device by guiding his finger over the camera lens," the application reads. "While viewing the display screen, the user holds the device in the palm of his hand in a supine position. Rather than pressing or sliding directional buttons next to the screen or touching a touch screen to navigate a webpage document or contacts list, the user may move his finger over the camera lens in the direction he wishes to navigate the page."







Apple in the past has filed patent applications describing mobile devices with touch panels on the reverse side, allowing users to control a device without obscuring the screen with their fingers. In January, a rumor even alleged that the next-generation iPhone would have a Magic Mouse-like touch panel for its plastic back casing.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    first mo' fo's



    swipe that
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by success View Post


    first mo' fo's



    swipe that



    you mother father
  • Reply 3 of 19
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by success View Post


    first mo' fo's



    swipe that



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hngfr View Post


    you mother father



    Please don't post unless it's something constructive.



    On topic, I think it would be difficult to use the back of the phone for swiping especially during phone calls, but who knows until you try it.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Interesting concept. It has a tactile response by design and it's easily felt. The only draw back might be a dirty camera lens, but since I rarely use the camera I couldn't care less.



    Though, I do use my headphones or BT earpiece so often that it would likely be pointless, unless it could be used while in the pocket, like muting the sound or having the phone speak the caller's name or number when you put your finger on it while a call is coming in.



    I wonder if they could make it a biometric so you don't need to input a PIN (or in my case an alphanumeric) to unlock the phone?
  • Reply 5 of 19
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Not liking the idea of an always-on camera.



    Do like the idea of a magic mouse back for some gestures.
  • Reply 6 of 19
    Quote:

    ..."Camera as Input Interface," was originally filed for on Aug. 21, 2008. It is credited to Chad Seguin, Justin Gregg and Michael Lee.





    Hey! that was MY idea! (6 months too late of course)



    I also said the Mac's built in camera could "read" fingers and swipes, even track a cursor on the screen.



    No touching of the screen with your greasy fingers required.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    iphone app in HK store called "HK Movie" already used this feature !! When I swipe my hand over my iphone, it brings up the main menu!!
  • Reply 8 of 19
    Theres something wrong with the fig.2 ...



    Interface look like Win...ndow...!
  • Reply 9 of 19
    2oh12oh1 Posts: 500member
    How can smearing a camera lens be a good idea?
  • Reply 10 of 19
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Apple patents every random idea that they come up with. The existence of this patent means nothing. It?s a bad idea, it won?t happen, and Apple knows that.



    They just want to own it, and a thousand other wacky ideas, JUST in case it somehow becomes an idea with monetary value.



    I also wonder if they?re extra patent-crazy just so that the REAL ideas get lost in the ?noise? and thus provide fewer clues to their future plans. Red herrings?
  • Reply 11 of 19
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    Apple patents every random idea that they come up with. The existence of this patent means nothing. It?s a bad idea, it won?t happen, and Apple knows that.



    One of my favorite lameduck patents from Apple is the optical drive access underneath the device.
  • Reply 12 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    One of my favorite lameduck patents from Apple is the optical drive access underneath the device.



    Sure can't see why these didn't take off love the Sit and Spin Door - though they should have called it the Poke and Stroke...
  • Reply 13 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 2oh1 View Post


    How can smearing a camera lens be a good idea?



    The camera lens is indented. Your finger doesn't touch it. Yeck!
  • Reply 14 of 19
    ... and on ceratin finger gestures they will shutdown or simply crash to punish user for the expression
  • Reply 15 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    Apple patents every random idea that they come up with. The existence of this patent means nothing. It?s a bad idea, it won?t happen, and Apple knows that.



    They just want to own it, and a thousand other wacky ideas, JUST in case it somehow becomes an idea with monetary value.



    I also wonder if they?re extra patent-crazy just so that the REAL ideas get lost in the ?noise? and thus provide fewer clues to their future plans. Red herrings?





    Just for the record: US Patent means nothing in many other parts of the world. Patent law is regional and it can be ignorred in those regions. Even if forced by some international trade agreements thoso who sined them may be suied on grounds of not horing local patent rules. Unfortunatelly, patent and rules of its granting are incompatible between regions and create such grounds. I can mention few rules of European patents that dismiss US Patnet granting.







    That of course is known fact to those who studied for engineer degree with mandatory class "Patent Law and Licensing" which is in some universities overseas.





    the only reliable wy for Apple and any other US companies to have protection is to start patenting in those other regions as well. Unfortunatelly it has costs, because patent maintenance is fee based for a period of time (at least in other regions) and extension costs as well.
  • Reply 16 of 19
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Wouldn't that kill battery life basically? Why not just have a touch surface on the back as well (like a mini trackpad area or something? Why tax a camera that take up a bunch of battery life and way more processing power then needed for a simple gesture?



    Why not just have an extra toggle on the side to allow you to do that (on the opposite side of the volume toggle.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    What about all the wasted space on either side of the home button? Why is this not used for some kind of user input?
  • Reply 18 of 19
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    One of my favorite lameduck patents from Apple is the optical drive access underneath the device.



    I had forgotten about that. I love that most of the patent presentation centers on what a terrible idea it is, with increasingly Rube Goldberg solutions being proffered to mitigate that terribleness.



    It's like "We at Apple thought, what if we took a functional subsystem and really fucked it up? Are we good enough to bring it back to even half-way useable? We submit that we can, and all it takes are some combination of the following insanely elaborate kludges!"
  • Reply 19 of 19
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MsNly View Post


    Please don't post unless it's something constructive.



    oh ok Daddy. Tard.
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