Apple could be providing a glimpse into some new features for future iPhones in a couple of patent applications the company recently filed.
The blog MacRumors.com reports that Apple has published two patent applications in the past few weeks that focus on features that incorporate motion and gesture user interfaces. One patent was published two weeks ago. And the other one was published Thursday.
The iPhone already has an accelerometer that allows users to shuffle songs on the iPhone by shaking it. And the motion-detecting technology has also been widely used by application developers who have incorporated the functionality into games and other kinds of apps for the iPhone. But Apple appears to be moving a few steps further in making motion an even bigger part of interacting with the iPhone.
Apple notes in the first of the patent filings that interacting with mobile devices while also engaging in another activity, such as jogging or running, can be dangerous as users might be distracted while they're trying to advance to another song or answer a phone call. The new gesturing technology would try to solve this issue. According to the patent filing:There is a need for providing a user interface in a personal media device that minimizes either or both a user's physical and visual interactions with the personal media device, especially while the user is performing other activities that require, for example, the user's visual senses.