Apple working on new multitouch gestures for iOS 5, illuminated smart bezel for iPhone 5??

PatentlyApple has uncovered some interesting patent applications from Apple involving new multitouch gestures and smart bezels aimed at making interaction more simple and gestures more memorable.

Apple's patent introduces us to mid-drag gestures, microgestures within gestures, and other gesture modification motions performed contiguously within an overall gesture (i.e., without losing contact with the touch-sensitive input surface during the gesture) to provide intuitive ways to interact with a user interface for varying purposes, such as modifying user interface behaviors, changing optionally displayed items, etc.
Apple states that the use of mid-drag gestures reduces the cognitive burden on a user, thereby creating a more efficient human-machine interface. For battery-operated computing devices, enabling a user to use mid-drag gestures allows for faster and more efficient use of user interfaces, thereby conserving power and increasing the time between battery charges.

Apple did enable some additional multitouch gestures in the beta of iOS 4, but they never made it to the final release. If you are a registered developer they can still be enabled.

The illuminated smart bezel would allow some controls to be moved off the display, so fingers no longer cover areas of the screen. Parts of the bezel could illuminate indicating control regions for starting and stopping media, navigating maps, playing games, etc. While Palm has used a gesture region since the introduction of the Pre and RIM will be using a 1-pixel wide screen border to detect gestures coming off the bezel, and illuminated bezel would offer better orientation for users and the possibility of more dynamic and flexible interactions.

Of course just because Apple patents something is no indication we'll see them in real world software or hardware any time soon, though wouldn't they be interesting in iOS 5 and iPhone 5?

[Patently Apple, x2]

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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

Apple working on new multitouch gestures for iOS 5, illuminated smart bezel for iPhone 5??


It's so irritating when articles mention the multitouch gestures that "never made it to the final release". No, they were never MEANT for the final release.
If you look back, you'll know that Apple is quite interested in removing the home button. With that being said, the multitouch gestures were provided to Devs to test out how they would interfere with their apps.
For anyone who wants these gestures, go play a game like Fruit Ninja or use a DJ app, and then come back and tout the multitouch gestures.
There have been people who say to let them be set per app. Well, if you have no home button, how do you do that?
THEY WERE NEVER MEANT TO BE RELEASED, not that they never made it.

Your lack of tact or ability to write anything even remotely responsive to my post shows your lack of mental capacity.

I'm not. You should see how people blow gaskets, like when they drop their iPhones and expect Apple to replace it for free, or get upset that glass breaks.
The capitalization is for emphasis, not yelling.
It's quite annoying to see articles like this, which then make everyday consumers angry at Apple for not including this, when in fact, it was never meant to be. However, articles like this make it appear that it was pulled at the last minute. Misinformation.

Apple did not include complex multitouch gestures on iOS4 because they knows it's silly. There is such a thing as too much touch, and Apple knows it should be restricted to the bare minimum. These are all defensive patents. C'mon people seriously, star? Crossbar? Ohm? What about a touch bezel, wouldn't it defeat the whole touchSCREEN thing and feel like an ATM? We will never see those on a Apple product and for good reasons.
Patents notwithstanding, expect to see those on competitors products trying to jump the gun. Those will have the chance to look silly by thenselves.

"If you are a registered developer they can still be enabled." not on iPhone. Tried and failed, dammit!

I don't think I could make those star or crossbar gestures correctly more than 50% of the time. Certainly not whilst walking and chewing gum (read- doing other things).

I use gestures on my jailbroken phone to the point where I almost never use the home button. I love it.

I wouldn't be surprised if a few WebOS elements are inputted. WebOS for the most part was very much a product with Apple values.
Along with Jon Rubinstein majority of the team was ex Apple hires. Seems when the Apple guys don't have someone like Jobs towering over them they can come up with cool systems ie gesture controls. That's the only thing I find highly unique of WebOS(I own an original Pre). Multitasking using the iOS cards system was a great step to take.
It also explains, disappointingly, why so many of Palm OS's great tools or features aren't there. Many of the PIM aren't there or are stripped down

That picture looks like android with all that mess. I agree a couple more multi touch gestures would be nice on ipad, like the ones in the beta, but these look very convoluted.