Apple Delves Deeper Into Motion-Sensing Technologies With New Patents

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Two recently published Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) patents uncovered by Apple Insider reveal that the California-based company is continuing to develop innovative new imaging and input technologies for its mobile devices and laptops. In the first patent, titled “Imaging Range Finding Device and Method,” Apple describes a system that uses “an array of emitters and photodetectors in optical communication with an imaging lens” to sense the size and location of objects.

Apple says the imaging range finder technology outlined in its patent is superior to currently available range finders because its system can employ multiple moveable lenses to compensate for “less ideal and variable object and environment conditions.” According to Apple Insider, the technology described in this patent is similar to the technology used by 3-D vision and motion-sensing technology company PrimeSense. Apple acquired the Israel-based company last year for approximately $360 million, according to sources cited by All Things D. Before being acquired by Apple, PrimeSense was best known for supplying the motion-sensing technology for Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox 360 Kinect system.

Per Apple, there are many uses for its imaging range finder technology, including “to scan a room to get accurate room measurements for interior design of the room; to map a space for inventory control, space planning, space navigation, and photo sharing; for 3D object scanning and pattern matching; as a navigation aid for the visually-impaired to detect landmarks, stairs, low tolerances, and the like; as a communication aid for the deaf to recognize and interpret sign language for a hearing user; for automatic foreground/background segmentation; for real-time motion capture and avatar generation; for photo editing”; and so on.

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