Could Mac OS X 10.12 -- the operating system update that will follow this fall's OS X El Capitan -- sport a 3D interface? Probably not, but a future version likely will.
Natural human interfaces, based upon hand gestures in free space, represent the next big evolutionary jump in consumer and industrial electronics. Natural interfaces utilize advanced 3-D vision technology to interpret actions by users -- such as hand gestures or other movement-based input -- as commands for the device.
However, unlike the mouse or the touchscreen, with which the user has to make physical contact, there's no physical device that/s touched. Rather, the TV, computer or other appliance simply observes the user and the user’s surroundings, and derives meaning from what it sees. With the same ease that an officer can direct traffic at a busy intersection with a few natural gestures, we will be able to convey our intent to our devices, Spare predicted.
The real impact of 3-D natural interfaces, such as gesture controlled TVs, is that they will make a broad array of complex services easily available and accessible through a very natural user experience. The key, enabling technology for natural interfaces is a mass-market, 3-D “vision” capability. Only when devices are able to effortlessly recognize, in real time, fine-grained features in a scene, in any lighting condition and against any background, can subtleties such as hand gestures -- across a room in many cases -- be reliably interpreted.
Apple won't be the first to bring gesture technology to the Mac. Leap Motion has already has.
But Apple has filed various patents involving 3D interfaces such as patent number 20140055483 for a "computer user interface and method." According to the patent info and graphics, it would involve a Mac display with sensors built into all sides of the screen’s bezel. The sensors would recognize hand gestures. The gestures could be used to scrolling, selecting, zooming, and more.
The sensors would also adjust the screen’s brightness and change the onscreen interface depending on how close you are to your Mac. For example, the size and/or a content of the information displayed by the computer could be altered or controlled.