I don’t find myself reading patent applications filed by Microsoft very often, but this one caught my eye. Take a look at this drawing and guess what they are trying to patent.
Did you guess that Microsoft is essentially trying to patent a method of “zooming in” when a player places a hand, or hands, over their eyes to look into the distance? I love it!
The drawings come from a patent application that recently published as US Pub. No. A system is disclosed for interpreting a gesture which triggers application-pertinent information, such as altering a display to bring objects which are farther away into larger and clearer view. In one example, the application is a golfing game in which a user may perform a peer gesture which, when identified by the application, alters the view to display portions of a virtual golf hole nearer to a virtual green into larger and clearer view.
Now for the patent attorneys, the claims start off with:
1. A method for implementing a peer gesture via a natural user interface, comprising: (a) determining if a user has performed a predefined gesture relating to peering into a virtual distance with respect to a scene displayed on a display; and (b) changing the display to create the impression of peering into the virtual distance of the scene displayed on the display upon determining that the user has performed the predefined peering gesture in said step (a).
2. The method of claim 1, wherein said step of determining if a user has performed a predefined gesture relating to peering into a virtual distance comprises the step of determining whether the user has positioned one or two hands in a predetermined position with respect to the user’s face.
3. The method of claim 2, wherein said step of determining if a user has performed a predefined gesture relating to peering into a virtual distance comprises the step of determining whether the user has cupped the user’s eyes with one or both hands.
Perhaps “peer-to-zoom” is the next “pinch-to-zoom.” Never underestimate the value of something so beautifully simple (and logical).