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Apple Submits Patents For 3D Operating System

Gordon Kelly


Apple Submits Patents For 3D Operating System

Could this be the best attempt yet to solve the endless problem of insufficient desktop real estate?

Yep, while multiple desktops, scrolling desktops and more have all been tried with varying degrees of success Apple's new patent could be the most creative attempt to date.

Dubbed the 'Multi-Dimensional Desktop' the Cupetino based monolith rather bluntly describes the submission as: "A graphical user interface has a back surface disposed from viewing surface to define a depth, and one or more side surfaces extend from the back surface to the viewing surface. An icon receptacle is disposed on one or more of the side surfaces, and one or more icons are disposed within the icon receptacle. The one or more icons correspond to one or more desktop items".

Yep, it sounds like drunken gobbledegook but in short the concept is to create extra space via adding virtual depth to your desktop (think Flip 3D in Vista but permanent) while walls around the edges are used to hang commonly used commands, shortcuts and apps such as the weather. The effect is promising and though rather futuristic has enough detail in the submission (most of which is more readable than that rather crude quoted summary) to suggest Apple could be serious.

Do we like it? Hmmmn, Linux users will tell you they've been able to do it for decades (because Linux users will tell you they've been able to do everything for decades) but it could just be where Mac OS is headed... well, at least until we're all chipped and computer screens appear in our eyes!


Patent Submission

Hamish Campbell

December 12, 2008, 2:19 pm

hmm yeah....i still worry about speed. If you can't see everything on your screen you have to get to it somehow, and in the end clicking one button for the mac's 'all open windows' and getting thumbnails of everything, is pretty hard to beat, MAAAAYBE multi touch will be good enough.

Now this might all change when you whack on your VR goggles and you just have to turn your head to see it all.

Course then the problem is you can kiss goodbye to getting a girlfriend Geordi La Forge.


December 12, 2008, 5:51 pm

You know, I get really frustrated when I read things like this.

I've had my eye on a guy called Jeff Han (and his company, perceptive pixel) for a few years now. Now, in my mind he is the original creator of multi-touch (Feb 2006 &#8211Apple iphone released June 07!!!) and in one of his demo videos he displays a basic 3D OS.

Check out: http://www.ted.com/index.php/t... which shows Jeff giving a hands-on demo of this tech or head straight to http://www.perceptivepixel.com... to check out an un-narrated video of some of the tastier elements of multi touch tech. (The 3D OS is about 0:48 seconds into the clip)

I'm not a fan of Apple but I must admit they have been very proactive in bringing this technology to the market, perhaps due to the fact that it's nothing short of amazing and by doing so their name is now synonymous with multi-touch technology &#8211which is no bad thing for them considering the way PC interaction is heading.

However, it seems to me that Apple have taken more than a few of Jeff's ideas and implemented them into their own hardware (and admittedly, done it well!) I'm just shocked that no other tech company has been able to rival anything that Apple has produced to date. (C&#8217mon Google, wow us with some of this in your new desktop OS!!).

Let&#8217s see what people think once they&#8217ve seen Jeff Han&#8217s videos for their own eyes&#8230


December 12, 2008, 6:29 pm

@eyewonder - not on the video link you post. In fairness I've seen Jeff Han many times - it's genuinely innovative chap but I think he speaks in broad terms. This is a more focused concept.

That said, who wouldn't want to see Jeff Han's ideas implemented into their own hardware or software?! That alone is newsworthy ;)

Hamish Campbell

December 14, 2008, 2:32 am

Well not sure we should give it all to Han. Back in 98 I was keen to try out the iGesture pad from Fingerworks, but they didn't have NT drivers so I couldn't use it. It was a pad with multi touch actions, pinch for copy, opposite for paste, etc etc etc, multiple fingers etc. Then they got bought out, turns out it was apple and they hired the guys and put them to work getting patents. So, yes as usual a startup of creative guys worked it out and got snapped up by a big player, but then as fingerworks these guys couldn't have come up with the software link in I wouldn't guess and certainly tying into a phone would have been a leap too.


For a titbit, www.fingerworks.com still exists too with the old products, but no more sales.

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