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Apple Patented Gestures For When You’re Not Looking At The Screen

Multi-touch gestures are great. With natural gestures like pinch, swipe and tap you can flick through your photos, scroll webpages, point items. The obvious downside is that, in order to confirm a gesture has worked properly, you need to look at the screen. And when the screen is not a MacBook’s one but an iPod touch and you’re running for your daily workout session, you can guess looking at the screen can become quite a task. That’s why Apple put buttons back in the Nano, for instance, but the engineers at Cupertino think it’s not enough.

Apple has, in fact, patented a way to perform certain multi-touch gestures and have actions happen on screen without actually looking at it. According to the patent, people could perform gestures similar to the commands on Apple’s own earbuds, or adjust the playback volume with a circular gesture similar to the classic iPod’s click-wheel. Other “special gestures” are mentioned in the patent.

The device used in the patent filing is a sixth generation iPod Nano, something that would suggest Apple is looking forward to a firmware update to enable more features, and gestures, in the device. Or maybe, the Nano being depicted in the patent is simply used to illustrate how Apple may implement “lookaway” gestures in future mobile devices.

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