Apple’s 3-D mapping tech would turn your iMac into an Xbox Kinect

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Mouse, what mouse?
Photo: USPTO/Apple

New technology dreamed up by Apple would allow users to control an interface by simply striking a pose. This would work by having Apple devices generate a depth map for identifying “a head and at least one arm of the humanoid form” from any image in which one appears.

A way to switch on our next Apple TV by waving a hand or turning your head toward the screen? Yes please!

New patent hints at hands-free gaming on Apple TV

Forget joysticks, this could be the future of gaming.
Forget joysticks, this could be the future of gaming.
Photo: Apple/USPTO

There have been plenty of rumors about the refreshed Apple TV set to arrive at WWDC, but two of the biggest concern the fact that it will feature a revolutionary gesture-based user interface and a new focus on gaming.

Possibly tying into that is a newly-published patent from Apple, which describes a pattern projector which would use laser beams to map the 3D space between the device and a user — thereby allowing a person to carry out motions as a way of interacting with specific apps.

And, yes, that includes games.

Apple’s new gesture tech could bring Star Wars-style Force controls to Mac

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These may not be the droids you're looking for, but it could be the patent you want. Photo:
These may not be the droids you're looking for, but it could be the patent you want. Photo: Lucasfilm

Apple may have already used the name “Force Touch” for its touch-sensitive tech, but if you’re a sci-fi fan who’s ever dreamed of wielding The Force to control your Mac with an Obi Wan-like sweep of the hand, you could be in luck.

Apple today published a patent for a technology which describes in-air 3D gesturing which allows it to accurately establish not only where a user’s hand might be, but also what it is doing. As such, it opens up the possibility of creating detailed hand poses for triggering different actions.

Throwing up a pair of hand horns to get AC/DC blaring out on iTunes? Yes please.

How Google Swiped Apple’s Hot New PrimeSense 3-D Tech For Project Tango

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In November 2013, Apple acquired PrimeSense, a 3-D technology sensing company that could hint at the ability for future iPhones, iPads and Macs to have a Kinect-like ability to sense where users are and react to their movements.

Given the acquisition, you’d think Apple would be the first company to use one of PrimeSense’s hot 3-D imaging systems-on-a-chip, maybe in the iPhone 6, but no. Google has beaten Apple to the punch, using PrimeSense’s Capri PS1200 3-D imaging SoC in the experimental Project Tango device, the world’s first motion-sensing smartphone.

Apple Spent More Than Half A Billion Dollars On Acquisitions Last Quarter

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Apple suppliers are enjoying huge revenue boosts thanks to the iPhone 6
Apple suppliers are enjoying huge revenue boosts thanks to the iPhone 6

Having recently purchased both Nest and AI startup DeepMind, Google is currently on a high tech spending spree. Even Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson has claimed that the search giant’s recent acquisitions have helped it take the lead over Apple when it comes to innovation in 2014.

But Apple is also putting its $159 billion worth of cash and investments to good use by carrying out its fair share of acquisitions.