Apple's Gesture Dictionary, a Fingering Chart for Multi-Touch

Illustration for article titled Apple's Gesture Dictionary, a Fingering Chart for Multi-Touch

Apple spent another day at the patent office, locking down this idea: a Multi-Touch Gesture Dictionary that identifies all kinds of finger play you can do on upcoming multi-touch interfaces. It started out with just the expand and contract motions on the iPhone, along with the ability to swipe your finger to get from one picture or graphic to the next. This takes those few gestures into the next dimension. Come on over to the next page, and see a larger version of this multi-touch map, which looks as complicated as the West Coast Offense in the NFL.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Apple's Gesture Dictionary, a Fingering Chart for Multi-Touch

As you can see above, commands will be addressable by moving fingers in various directions on the screen, combining the thumb and second finger and dragging in certain directions, and then actually playing muitl-finger chords on the multi-touch display, similar to the way you would on a piano.

Reminds me of a saxophone fingering chart. Piano players and fanatics will love this, but we're wondering if John Q. Public will like the idea of learning how to play a musical instrument just to find a phone number. Crazier things have happened—for example, one word: QWERTY. [US Patent Office, via PC Joint]

DISCUSSION

I think they look pretty complicated like this but hopefully, a lot of work has gone into actually testing them out so there are scenarios (like with the iphone's few gestures now) where they feel natural and logical so looking at a chart of them is quite bewildering but when you come to actually use them it's quite intuitive.

I guess if they have just got round to this, we won't be seeing multitouch macs quite yet. Shame, I was really hoping they might have a huge surprise up their sleeves with the new imacs on Tuesday. imac would seem to make the most sense as the first computer to have multitouch, I can't see it working quite so well on a laptop screen but it's a feature the all in one imac would seem quite suited to and, to a lesser extent, the cinema displays as well. More eye candy than anything but it wouldn't half be fun!