Large-Screen iPhone 5 In Time For New Multi-Touch, 3D Apple Patent?

Apple’s new multi-touch 3D patent reveals a next-generation approach to gesture control that is featured on the iPad in schematics. But Apple’s new focus on this technology could also involve increasing the screen size of the iPhone 5 as well.

In an article this week, PCWorld took a close look at a fascinating new Apple patent that could dramatically revolutionize the gesturing experience on mobile devices such as the iPad and iPhone. Writer Eric Mack explains: “The focus of the patent is gesturing by making motions with the fingers across a multi-touch screen, but it also mentions 3-D gesturing using a device’s front-facing camera. This could bring technology similar to that employed in the Microsoft Kinect to iOS devices.”

In layman’s terms, Mack associates the new patent to the same investigative tools employed by Tom Cruise’s character in the landmark film The Minority Report. Ever since that film was released, its sci-fi depiction of fluid, holographic-based gesture control has set the bar for what tech users hope the consumer electronics industry will someday develop.

In the patent, Apple is clearly using the iPad as its vehicle for this kind of new technology, most likely imagining that the 9.7-inch screen dimensions of its tablet device. But it would stand to reason that Apple will continue to strive to create parity between the iPad and iPhone — I expect Siri to make its debut on the iPad 3. In the same way, there is no reason to believe that Apple will not equip the iPhone with the same breakthrough gesture controls as the iPad in the years and models to come.

In this way, I can imagine more justification that the iPhone 5 will feature a larger screen.

Many iPhone enthusiasts believe that the long-running larger screen rumor for the iPhone 5 will eventually come true by virtue of users calling for it. I argue, however, that Apple is not committed to increasing the size of the iPhone’s screen simply to compete with the likes of top-tier Android smartphones; they will need a better reason than that to beef up the size of the screen.

But a revolutionary new 3D approach to multi-touch gesturing could be a worthwhile justification.

Bear in mind that this new multi-touch gesturing patent is unlikely to show up on the iPhone 5 — patents can take years to develop and implement. However, if this patent reveals the direction that Apple is moving in from a design perspective, it would stand to reason that bumping up the screen size of the iPhone could be just around the corner.


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