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  • Apple Patents Gestures

    In a potentially significant ruling, the US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple, Inc. a sweeping patent for twenty-four gestures and chorded finger positions for controlling a future touchscreen OS. This means that Apple could pretty much own multitouch… it's as if the company had patented the double-click back when the first Macintosh operating system was released in 1984. If Apple is successful in making these gestures standard for touchscreen interfaces, any other company who wants to use them will have to license them from Apple.

    Patently Apple describes the scheme (sort of confusingly entitled "System and method for packing multitouch gestures onto a hand"), which specifies that some commands will be executed with your hand in a "neutral" position, with different fingers pressed to the screen, and that other, less frequently used commands will involve touching fingers to the screen in a "spread-hand" position. For example, all four fingers in a neutral position on the screen will pan the screen right and left. The same gesture with a spread hand will move the cursor to the beginning or end of the line. It seems like one of those things that's hard to describe but easy to do once you get used to it.

    One risk here is that other touchscreen platforms (O HAI, ANDROID) will use a different set of gestures to avoid patent infringement, and so we'll have a different "gesture vocabulary" to use different devices. The likelihood is that we'll eventually settle on a single standard set of gestures, though… and Apple is obviously hoping that it will be theirs.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Patents Gestures started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 24 Comments
    1. unoimkll's Avatar
      unoimkll -

      Anyone else just want one single chance to set Jobs straight?

      Just like a ***** slap or something.

      The old fart claims to do what the consumers want yet when you think about it...

      How many things have we had to ask apple for before they made it? Let's make a list shall we? (Feel free to add)

      - Mobile community first release touch screen (Apple.. We want touch screen ----> ipod touch)

      - Mobile community utilizes bluetooth, mms, video, copypasta, multitasking, multiple mail accounts, front camera (to be), and more (But Apple... WE want that stuff... pweaze...
      ...Apple: ZOMFG look how cool we are!!! We got all this stuff.. woooot. We are the best

      - Apple... Why does this pc have better specs than this mac? Can we have that stuff pweaze???
      ... Apple: ZOMFG .. etc etc

      Point being... take this analagy:

      Ok so there is a big basket of oranges that is the consumer market, each orange representing a feature or aspect desired by consumers that is sharable amongst all companies.

      Now apple does some research and looks at all the oranges the other companies in the market have and says, "Hmmm, we need to do something different... and my god if these people are stupid enough to believe this we will be RICH!"

      So Apple decides to take a handful of oranges and gets to work on drawing pretty pictures and making videos of their apples. Days turn to months, months turn to years as Apple cleverly positions themselves to release their goods to the market. (Consider iphone for this).

      Now remember, Apple doesn't have many oranges so what do they do? They come into the market with giant pictures they were drawing for years and cool videos that show off their magnificent handful of oranges (while other companies have hundreds of oranges).

      Now the consumers (the stupid people that Apple referred to) go, "Oooooo pretty pictures!! =]" and decided to go with this new trend. As this occurs Apple brings out more and more pictures making their oranges looks absolutely amazing, herding all the stupid people into a big trap.
      Now... this people are happily using Apple's oranges when they start to notice other companies have more oranges. Not knowing they are in a big trap, they kindly ask for more oranges.

      Apple has them where they want them, Apple (remember years of positioning) now look like the good guys, and scratch a few more oranges to their pile.

      Again, bringing in the big pictures. But now! the trap comes. The unknowing people in the trap are all excited... clawing at these new oranges, oblivious to the fact that Apple has actually STOLEN these oranges. These people are all happy but do not realize they are being controlled by a huge *****.

      ... (future)

      Eventually... Apple steals all the oranges and there are no more for the other companies. At this point the millions of people finally realize the **** that has been controlling them (Jobs). Fortunately, scientists discover a strange orange virus that scares all the people to the new pineapples of the market leaving Apple to ironically die from all its oranges.

      Ahhh rant over (it probably lost meaning some way through but i believe the essence was kept)

      Think what you want, not here to argue =]

      Have a good weekend!
    1. elr0y7's Avatar
      elr0y7 -
      Sooo, what are you supposed to do with your other hand?

      Nvm I guess it'd be good for small devices.
    1. zoso10's Avatar
      zoso10 -
      Wow I'm not gonna remember all those gestures, they should make keyboard shortcuts for them.... oh wait.
    1. rampagebegins's Avatar
      rampagebegins -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jahooba View Post
      This won't mean much when the world (re)discovers that stylus pens are way better than the extremely inaccurate sausage-jab.
      my "sausage jab" may be inaccurate but the ladies love it