A Look at the Future
Your iPhone or iPad might come with 3D object manipulation in the near future. Apple currently holds a patent filing that carries implications for the company’s future plans for 3D object manipulation. The filing, with the revealing title “Working with 3D Objects,” was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday. It describes the concept for manipulating objects in three dimensions by way of gestures, meaning that three dimensional object representations will be moved and rotated, stretched and pulled, just by waving your fingers over the device’s screen.
How it Works
Users will likely find that getting into 3D manipulation is easier than it might seem. Common gestures like pinching will allow control in 2D, while getting the object into 3D will only require touching the 2D representation at three points and then lifting your fingers from the screen. Object manipulation will be simple, requiring only simple gestures above the screen of your device.
Apple’s filing reveals that pinching or pulling gestures will actively affect the representational object by squeezing or stretching specific parts of it, much like working with clay. This could prove to be a particularly useful modification for use in CAD programs, allowing the designer to modify a 3D object with a whole new set of tools.
The patent application provides the following explanation:
The CAD program may provide a drafting area showing 2D or 3D objects being processed by the user, and menus outside the drafting area for allowing the user to choose from various tools in generating or modifying 2D or 3D objects. For example, there may be menus for 2D object templates, 3D object templates, paint brush options, eraser options, line options, color options, texture options, options for rotating or resizing the objects, and so forth. The user may select a tool from one of the menus and use the selected tool to manipulate the 2D or 3D object.
Viewing in 3D
It’s probable that the use of some type of 3D glasses will be required in order to see the objects properly. The patent filing allows for a display that utilizes parallax barriers or lenticular lenses. The display may make use of varied polarizations that are intended for the right or left eye and that will need to be viewed through a polarized pair of 3D specs. Apple’s technology may be about to take a huge leap forward and users could be looking at it in a whole new way.