Apple granted patent for gesture controls

Apple files gesture control patent
Touchless screens? Apple wins big new patent   

Apple was granted a patent on Tuesday for technology that allows its devices to read physical gestures and respond based on hand movements. That could lead to a major shift in how its users interact with their computers.

Microsoft and Samsung already incorporate gesture controls into some of their products, perhaps the most widely known being the Microsoft's Xbox Kinect motion sensor. Apple, however, could bring about a new era in its own desktop and living room computer use.

Apple may be looking to develop a gaming console or revamped Apple TV, according to Trip Chowdhry, a managing director at Global Equities Research.

"This patent indicates that probably a completely new category of touchless devices may be in works at Apple," Chowdhry told CNBC.

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According to the patent filing released Tuesday, the potential new Apple technology would include a 3-D sensor that works in a specific field of view, and software that can translate gesture data into computer commands. Apple had filed for the patent in 2011.

Ultimately, users would be able to interact with their computers with a wave or push of the hand, according to the patent filing.

Following Apple's acquisition of PrimeSense and that company's patent portfolio, the tech giant was rumored to have a motion sensor in the works for its Apple TV.