Three-dimensional objects can be modified using 3D gesture inputs. For example, a 3D object shown on a touch-sensitive display can be detected, and a 3D gesture input that includes a movement of a finger or a pointing device in proximity to a surface of the touch-sensitive display can be detected. Detecting the 3D gesture input can include measuring a distance between the finger or the pointing device and a surface of the display. The 3D object can be modified according to the 3D gesture input, and the updated 3D object can be shown on the touch-sensitive display.
For example, a first user input that includes at least one of a touch input or a two-dimensional (2D) gesture input can be detected, and a 3D gesture input that includes a movement in proximity to a surface can be detected. A 3D object can be generated in a user interface based on the 3D gesture input and at least one of the touch input or 2D gesture input.
Apple also details how a touch sensor and proximity sensor could be used in combination to identify 3D gestures.
An apparatus for generating or modifying 3D objects can include a sensor to detect touch inputs, 2D gesture inputs that are associated with a surface, and 3D gesture inputs that include a movement perpendicular to the surface. A data processor is provided to receive signals output from the sensor, the signals representing detected 3D gesture inputs and at least one of detected touch inputs or detected 2D gesture inputs. The data processor generates or modifies a 3D object in a user interface according to the detected 3D gesture inputs and at least one of detected touch inputs or detected 2D gesture inputs.
These features allow a user to quickly and intuitively generate, modify, and manipulate 3D objects and virtual 3D environments.
You can read the patent in far more detail at the link below...
Read More [via AppleInsider]