Friday, July 08, 2011


Apple's patent application begins:


[0002] When an individual performs an action in a real world, physical environment, the individual experiences various physical phenomenon that indicates that the task is being performed or has been completed. For example, if an individual pours objects from a first container into a second container, the individual can observe the objects reacting to the forces of friction and gravity. If the objects having different shapes and masses, then the individual would observe different reactions to the forces.

[0003] Conventional personal computers include operating systems that often provide a virtual "desktop" metaphor where users can manipulate and organize various objects. This metaphor is easily understood by users because it is intuitive, and like the "pouring" act described above, relates to their real world, physical environment. Modern computing devices, such as smart phones, often provide a large variety of applications. Some of these applications, however, provide interfaces that lack an equivalent of the "desktop" metaphor and as a result are more difficult to comprehend by the average user.


[0004] A user can make an intuitive, physical gesture with a first device, which can be detected by one or more onboard motion sensors. The detected motion triggers an animation having a "physics metaphor," where the object appears to react to forces in a real world, physical environment. The first device detects the presence of a second device and a communication link is established allowing a transfer of data represented by the object to the second device. During the transfer, the first device can animate the object to simulate the object leaving the first device and the second device can animate the object to simulate the object entering the second device. In some implementations, in response to an intuitive, gesture made on a touch sensitive surface of a first device or by physically moving the device, an object can be transferred or broadcast to other devices or a network resource based on a direction, velocity or speed of the gesture.

[0005] Particular embodiments of the subject matter described in this specification can be implemented to realize one or more of the following advantages. Users can transfer files and other data between devices using intuitive gestures combined with animation based on physics metaphors. Users can transfer files to a network using intuitive physical gestures. Users can broadcast files and other data to other devices using intuitive interface or physical gestures.

The first claim:

A computer-implemented method, comprising: presenting an object on an interface of a first device, the object representing data stored or accessible by the first device; detecting motion based on data from sensors onboard the first device; receiving input selecting the object; responsive to the input and the detected motion, animating the object on the interface using a physics metaphor, where the animation dynamically changes in response to the detected motion; detecting a presence of a second device located in proximity to the first device; determining that the detected motion results from a physical gesture made by a user of the first device, the physical gesture indicating a request to transfer the data to the second device; and responsive to the determining and to the detected presence of the second device, initiating data transfer to the second device.

Nonprovisional filed January 5, 2010; no underlying provisional.


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