“On February 28, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a granted patent from Apple that could be considered a foundational 3D interface patent,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“The patent describes a new ‘transition engine’ that will be added to OS X and iOS,” Purcher reports. “This new engine will allow a user to choose a tiny object on their new 3D desktop and zoom it out to see what it is or to read a filed PDF or view a photo or video and then allow it to zoom back to the position on their desktop with a cross fading effect in play.”

Purcher reports, “It could also transition using an animated effect. So instead of clicking on the object to open it, the user will have the ability to simply zoom an image or app in and out with ease.”

Much more in the full article, including Apple patent application illustrations, here.