An interesting Apple patent filing submitted in October 2010 (before the original iPad was unveiled) but only just published, appears to show the future of multitouch and it’s a major leap from the simple pinch and spread motions we’re currently used to.
The detailed document describes physical actions that could have us flicking and pouring files between our iPads and iPhones. If Apple puts these future multitouch plans into place, it could mean the death of the aging desktop metaphor…
The Apple patent filing outlines new ways of moving files including pouring objects from one device to another. It includes provision for audible feedback including “the sound of liquid pouring, a tablet fizzing, gas through a valve and a sci-fi teleporter…to represent the transfer from one point to another”.
The plan to connect devices also brings in the motion sensors inside the iPad and iPhone. Showing an iPhone being held over an iPad to pour icons from one to the other, Apple explains that “gravity, friction or drag, momentum, torque, acceleration, centripetal forces or any other force in a real-world physical environment” could be mimicked.
Apple also describes how a flick motion could send a file to a particular device when several are nearby based purely on the angle of the gesture. The more advanced multitouch gestures would activate protocols like Bluetooth or RFID to make the transfers.
While many of Apple’s patent filings never form part of a finished product, iOS 5 and iCloud put wireless transfers at the heart of Apple’s strategy and these new gestures could make that even easier.