Apple has patented a motion-control technology that would let people control a computer with hand gestures. The tech giant’s new patent includes diagrams of a person sitting in front of a desktop computer and gesturing to a webcam to control actions on the computer’s screen.
In the patent filing, Apple describes being able to use human gestures to control a “3D user interface” and to unlock a device, similar to the numerical passwords people currently use to unlock phones. An analyst at Global Equities Research speculated to CNBC that the tech could be used in a new gaming console or on the Apple TV streaming device.
Apple isn’t the first big tech company to experiment with gesture controls. Microsoft has been pushing its Kinect device, which tracks movements and responds to human voices, on its Xbox video game consoles for several years. However, the tech has yet to see widespread adoption, and Microsoft went so far as to remove Kinect from the Xbox One due to its high price and privacy concerns.
Among the other patents Apple was granted Tuesday was one for a GoPro-like wearable camera that could be used on bike helmets or underwater on scuba masks. The patent describes a camera that would boast a special microphone to record underwater sounds and could be controlled remotely using other devices such as a smartwatch. Following news of the patent, GoPro’s shares fell more than 12% Tuesday.
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