Apple, the company that made smartphones the must have gadget of the 20th century, may be about to revolutionise the tech world … again.
Tech Crunch reports the Californian tech giant has been granted a patent for what is calls ‘proximity multi-touch sensors’. This means that rather than unlocking your phone with a fingerprint, the next generation of Apple devices could let you control apps and type without even touching the screen.
The technology would allow devices to detect fingers or hands ‘hovering above a touch-sensitive surface,’ allowing users to type on virtual buttons and interact with the device using mid-air hand gestures.
According to the patent’s description, the aim is to use sensors to detect the movement of fingers hovering above them, as well as detecting other parts of the body.
This could mean that users would be able use the same multi-touch gestures for iPads, Macs and iPhones – such as a single finger to click, and two or more fingers to zoom or scroll – but without having to touch the device.
Apple have previously used 3D Touch technology in their iPhone 6s, which senses the pressure when you touch the display, giving more touch options for users.
But the new plans would move things on further still, with a move towards a Microsoft Kinect-style motion control.
Exciting stuff, but we’d be happier if they could just make the battery last a bit longer…