Apple patent involves 3D scanning and gesture-based interfaces

You may one day be able to control your Mac — and perhaps your Apple TV — by gestures. Apple has been granted yet another patent (number 10,218,963) for a “gesture-based user interface” that hints at gesture controls for Macs. This one is dubbed “scanning projectors and image capture modules for 3D mapping.”

Various methods are known in the art for optical 3D mapping — that is, generating a 3D profile of the surface of an object by processing an optical image of the object. This sort of 3D profile is also referred to as a 3D map, depth map or depth image, and 3D mapping is also referred to as depth mapping. Per Apple’s patent, an image capture assembly captures an image of the pattern on the object, and the image is processed so as to reconstruct a 3D map of the object. 

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Such 3D maps would allow a gesture-based user interface to “see” the motions of your body and emulate them a Mac or Apple TV. Such an interface could be used for gaming or Minority Report-style controls on these devices.