If you use your iPhone or iPad in a speaker dock, you’ll understand that the ability to control it from across the room would be just awesome. Apple may already be working on a solution, according to one of the company’s patent applications, which suggests future Macs and iOS devices could be controlled from afar using special gestures.
The patent application was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week, and is entitled “Real Time Video Process Control Using Gestures.” It describes a feature that allows users to remotely control and edit video recordings on a mobile device using hand gestures that are picked up by infrared sensors, optical sensors, and other methods.
The filing reads:
“As with the touch based gestures applied on or near the touch sensitive input device, the hand gestures can be interpreted to provide instructions for real time processing of the video by the video capture device.”
Because mobile devices are continually getting smaller, and by using their touch screens we move them while they’re recording, Apple’s aim is to replace touch gestures with an alternative that will allow us to control the device remotely.
However, hand gestures aren’t the only option: the patent also mentions that additional iOS devices could be used to control each other. For example, you could use your iPad to control your iPhone via Bluetooth while it’s recording video, as shown in the illustration at the top.
Although Apple’s patent only mentions control during video recording and editing, it’s easy to imagine how these controls would work well in other instances, such as controlling your iPad from across the room while it’s playing music, or controlling a Mac that’s used as a home theatre device.