Apple invents 3D printer for space-age Liquidmetal rapid prototypes

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liquid
Space-age iPhone, coming soon to a 3D printer near you.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

On its journey to product perfection, Apple is well-known for its endless prototyping of the next iPhone, iMac or Apple Watch.

Now the company may add ultra-tough metal alloy Liquidmetal to the list of materials it can use to create these rapid prototypes, thanks to a cutting-edge 3D printer designed for the job.

Your next iPhone may be able to read sign language

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The cameras on the iPhone 6s has a 12-megapixel sensor and 4K video.
Finally, a chance to use 'jazz hands' to unlock our iPhones.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Future iPhone software and cameras could support sign language recognition, alongside a range of other in-air interface gestures, according to a patent application published today.

Titled “Three-Dimensional Hand Tracking Using Depth Sequences,” Apple’s patent application describes how devices would be able to locate and follow the location of hands through three-dimensional space in video streams, similar to the face-tracking technology Apple already employs for its Photo Booth app.

Curved photo sensor could lead to tiny Apple Watch camera

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iphone6pluscameralens
Apple is constantly pushing the boundaries with its cameras.
Photo: iFixit

Apple has invented a camera lens that would yield higher-resolution images and would be even tinier than the cameras used in today’s super-slim iPhones.

How tiny would it be? Imagine a total axial length of just 2 mm or even less, making this potentially perfect for the long-awaited FaceTime camera of the next-gen Apple Watch 2.