Apple patents outline further multi-touch research

A number of Apple patent applications focusing on multi-touch research have been recently published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Mac Rumors notes that a majority of the applications protect research done by Wayne Westerman, the former cofounder of Fingerworks. One of the applications, titled “Gesture Learning,” outlines methods to teach more advanced multi-finger gestures to users through the use of visible feedback and interactive games that help users learn the movements. Another application titled “Multi-event Input System” describes the use of both a finger and a second, non-capacitive surface, such as a fingernail or other tapping instrument, to control advanced operations such as text selection, copy/paste, and other secondary functionality. This system would rely on a next-generation touchscreen capable of sensing different types of input. Interestingly, several of the illustrations accompanying the second patent show an iPod classic-like scroll wheel-equipped device with a small antenna protruding out the top. As with all Apple patents, these filings do not necessarily represent any future product releases from Apple, but offer evidence of the company’s research in these areas.

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