Apple Store logo
via David Sandoz / CC-BY-2.0

Some game-changing news dropped for Apple fans this week, regarding a new technological development regarding hand gestures.

According to MacRumors, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has approved a patent (originally filed in Aug. 2016) for a method where users would be able to control their Mac computer (or other devices) using a “non-tactile three dimensional (3D) user interface”, which they obtained in their acquisition of PrimeSense in 2013.

What does this mean? That a future Mac computer could function solely on hand gestures. The new technology combines the TrueDepth precision of the iPhone X with the PrimeSense software of the Microsoft Kinect sensor. Three focus gestures involve a vast range of 3D interactions between “push”, “wave”, and “up.”

Apple's Mac to Incorporate Hand Gesture Technology
via U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Unlike the Kinect technology, Apple aims to eliminate the disruption of background motion while using the digital interface. Also, the system will assign hand landmark positioning to efficiently predict hand motions, and over time, hand and finger poses are accurately determined through kinematics and spatial relation.

While the news sounds quite groundbreaking, Apple may or may not ever implement the technology into one of their products, at least in the near future, as with any patent. However, it’s interesting to see the direction Apple plans to go with PrimeSense’s technology down the line. Stay tuned…