Apple is granted a patent for a 3D document editing system

Apple has been granted a patent (number 20180081519) for a 3D document editing system that includes a virtual reality and/or augmented reality device and an input device (e.g., keyboard) that implements sensing technology for detecting gestures by a user. 

The sensing technology would allow a user to make gestures while entering text via a keypad, which would allow the user to specify 3D effects in the document while typing. The system may also monitor entries made using the keypad, apply rules to the entries to detect particular types of entries such as URLs, and automatically shift the detected types of entries forward or backward on the Z axis relative to the rest of the content in the document.

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In the patent filing, Apple notes that conventional graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for text generation and editing systems work in a two-dimensional (2D) space (e.g., a 2D screen or page on a screen). Highlighting areas or portions of text using these GUIs typically involves adding some effect in 2D such as bold or italics text, underlining, or coloring. 

However, Apple says these conventional VR systems typically don’t provide text generation and editing systems with GUIs that allow content creators to generate and edit text with 3D effects in a VR 3D environment. The tech giant thinks it can do better.

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.