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Apple patent application opens the door to free-form acoustic gesture commands

Tim Stevens

Another Apple patent application has come to light that's making us stop the daily grind for a moment and ponder the possibilities. This one talks about scattering a bunch of acoustic transducers (basically, microphones) throughout the case of a laptop. No, they aren't there to pick up the sweet sounds of your humming along with Rihanna and, while the application doesn't make it perfectly clear what their purpose is for, we're liking Patently Apple's conclusion that this is to enable acoustic commands. The application describes a microprocessor that can "interpret electrical signals generated by the one or more acoustic transducers as input." The idea is that these transducers detect a finger making contact with the chassis and register those vibrations as gestures. A similar concept is demonstrated in a video below, so watch that then start dreaming. Dragging your finger along the bezel to scroll? A non-capacitive touchpad as wide as the keyboard? Music games that finally let you show off your finger drumming prowess?

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