Back in July of this year, we told you about an Apple job description looking for someone to work on the team that is creating a “new and revolutionary core feature for Mac OS X” that has never been done before. Today, Patently Apple may have uncovered our first glimpse of this next-generation core feature. Apple’s patent filing details “virtual input devices” that tie into the future of iOS gaming and Mac OS multi-touch displays with 3D interactivity.
Essentially your input device will be transposed to your display in a virtual view. To break it down even further, your trackpad will be displayed on your computer monitor and you would control it via your monitor’s touch-screen. This of course gets into the patents and rumors of multi-touch iMacs. This does seem a bit counter-intuitive but there are many future-applications Apple could potentially use this patent for. One would be those touch iMacs with no physical input device, and another could possibly be a notebook with a second, smaller, display as the trackpad.
Getting into the 3D side of the patent, it seems that when an item or action is just waiting to be touched on your computer it will sit in the normal 2D mode, but when interacted with, 3D mode can come about. Think of 3D cover flow, or text popping out of your screen. Apple’s latest patent even hints at the future of iOS gaming with the aforementioned virtual input devices being used as game controls on an iPad, for example.