Apple has been awarded a US patent for integrating projection and gesture control features into future iPads and iPhones.
The patent, submitted back in February 2010 but officially awarded on July 16, could allow a user to point their Apple device at a wall and see information on the screen -- whether a graphical or spreadsheet application or a feature film projected at a larger size. The technology would also allow users to control and interact with that projected content via hand gestures.
Apple explains that one of the uses relating to the patent application is the easy sharing of content between devices and covers both built-in and clip-on projectors on devices such as notebooks as well as phones and tablets. As for gestures, the technology or system would recognize and support a number of controls that will be familiar to existing iPhone and iPad owners such as pinch to zoom.
As part of the filing, Apple notes that smartphone screens are small, making it difficult to share content, hence the projector facility that would simplify watching content but also copying and transferring files.
Earlier this month, Smart Devices launched its SmartQ U7 tablet, which comes with a built-in projector, in the US, while the Samsung Galaxy Beam smartphone, which has an integrated 15-lumen projector has been on sale since July 2012.
However, neither device features or supports gesture recognition or control.