Apple patent hits at future 3D motion control

Over the past few years, the mobile touch interface has revolutionized both smartphones and tablets. 

The first handset to boast an advanced touch interface was the original iPhone, and today the touchscreen is common to almost every major smartphone brand. 

Now Apple is looking towards the future at what may be the next big change in mobile user interfaces by filing a patent app titled “Sensor Based Display Environment.”

The patent application – obtained by AppleInsider – provides a detailed overview of a 3D display environment that is based on data from onboard sensors, such as a gyroscope and compass.

The 3D interface would be presented using a special screen that shows each eye a different image – no glasses needed. In addition, the new smartphone interface would allow the user to navigate with one hand simply by changing the orientation of the device.


The ability to control or navigate an iPhone by chaging the physical orientation of the device – without actually touching the screen – would certainly be pretty sweet in some instances, especially when driving with the phone in a mount.


The patent also details a feature called “snap to” that would allow certain physical actions to take a user directly to a specific, pre-programmed location on the interface or access an app.