Apple’s plans To Introduce A New Way To Share Content Between iOS Devices

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. If that caught your attention, that’s pretty much what Apple has in mind with this patent.

As seen in the diagram above, it pictures an iPhone that is being held over an iPad, with its contents being “poured” into the latter device, along with the possibility of sounds accompanying the action, for example “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.”


Example: A Pouring Motion

Apple’s patent FIG. 1B illustrates an iPhone (device 110) in motion relative to the iPad (device 120). Here, the user has rotated their iPhone above the iPad’s interface (122) in a manner similar to tipping a glass of water. This angular motion can be detected by one or more onboard motion sensors.

As shown in FIG. 1B, detached objects 114a-114d could be animated to simulate the effect of gravity by “sliding” toward the lowermost portion of interface 112 as device 110 is rotated. The animation of the objects creates the appearance that the objects have mass and are reacting to forces of a real world, physical environment. In FIG. 1C, we see that the iPad could interpret the rotation of the iPhone as a pouring motion as an indication of the user’s intent to transfer the files represented by selected objects 114a-114d.

Upon determining that the user of the iPhone intends to transfer the files, the iPhone (device 110) determines if the iPad (device 120) is present and available to receive the files. After a link is established between the two devices by Bluetooth or RFID and authenticated, the iPhone could request that the iPad accept a file transfer.

Not shown in the diagram, Apple also describes how flicking gesture can be used to share files with multiple devices in the same room, solely based on the angle of the gesture, which means it’s time to start brushing up on your aiming skills.

Some pretty far out ideas by Apple, although we have to admit that we like the idea of being able to “pour” the contents of our iOS device into another. Unfortunately, most of Apple’s patents rarely make it to the finished product, but this is one feature we hope we will eventually see.
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Imrul Haque is Product Engineer at TheTechJournal. He writes about new products and covers mobile apps. You can reach him on Twitter And Google+.

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