Future iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, even Macs, may have sensors that respond to hand gestures

FIG. 6 illustrates an “exemplary set of hand gestures.”

Apple has filed for a patent (number US 20230195237 A1) for “navigating user interfaces using hand gestures.” It involves the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and perhaps even the Mac.

The invention relates generally to computer user interfaces, and more specifically to techniques for navigating user interfaces using hand gestures. In the patent filing, Apple notes that most current techniques for navigating user interfaces using hand gestures “are generally cumbersome and inefficient.”

For example, some existing techniques use a complex and time-consuming user interface, which may include multiple key presses or keystrokes. Existing techniques require a lot of time, wasting user time and device energy. This latter consideration is particularly important in battery-operated devices.

Apple says that, accordingly, its technique involves a display generation component and an optical sensor and “will provide users of electronic devices with faster, more efficient methods and interfaces for navigating user interfaces using hand gestures.” Such methods and interfaces optionally complement or replace other methods for navigating user interfaces using hand gestures. 

Apple says that such methods and interfaces reduce the cognitive burden on a user and produce a more efficient human-machine interface. For battery-operated computing devices, such methods and interfaces conserve power and increase the time between battery charges.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.