Apple patent describes new multi-touch gesture language

A new patent application from Apple, “called ‘Gesture learning’ gives a whole new meaning to gesture expansion. It describes how Apple may go about teaching you a whole new multi-touch gesture language, consisting of hundreds of words. Something like American Sign Language for touchscreens,” Staska reports for Unwired View.

“To describe the possibilities of multi-touch gesture language, Apple splits a single gesture into two phases. The first phase of the gesture includes specific combination of fingers (or other hand parts) that you place on the touchscreen. It’s called chord. Another phase is the movement of the fingers – rotation, translation, scaling, etc. Taken together these phases make a full multi-touch gesture,” Staska reports.

“Well, you can do the math yourself. 25 or more chords with 13 or more possible movements. That’s at least 325 possible gesture combinations for a single hand,” Staska reports.

“Apple proposes a separate interactive multi-touch gesture learning application” Staska reports. “Nothing too complex, just a screen area for the user for assisted experimentation with different gestures, another small animated window showing how to perform the gesture and interactive feedback mechanism, showing how well user is performing the gesture. And to make it more fun, Apple can make a game out of the whole learning process.”

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


  1. Hey Thomas, didn’t your Mom teach you to wash your mitts after making your hands dirty?

    And what makes you think your screen will have a vertical orientation? Apple employs ergonomics experts, didn’t you know? I’d bet they’ll have something to say about how the new technology interfaces with the hardware!

  2. @R2 : now that you wrote it, M$ will!! ;/

    P.S. Oh… i forgot! No M$ won’t, after all, M$ is sinking into a crisis these days… There was already not enough monney to buy up Yahoo!…

  3. It’s a brilliant plan. It can evolve over time; like a real language. It has already started. We have one finger and two fingers. We have double taps. I discovered in Photoshop recently that when using the brush tool you can double tap and start drawing as if you were holding the “left click button” down (this is on a note book pad). This is just the beginning.

  4. @almux

    Yes, one of the reasons I want Apple to buy them is that I fear another company will beat them to it. May not necessarily be Microsoft, there’s a whole bunch of companies like Sony, Samsung and LG who are likely trying to get a grasp of this multi-touch stuff.

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