Much like the mouse revolutionized computer controls, touch input and the more sophisticated multitouch input have already revolutionized the way we use our smartphones and soon-to-be-everywhere tablets. The now standard touch gestures like flick to scroll and pinch to zoom make for natural UI manipulation but we’ve got ten fingers and we’re using so few.  So what’s next?

Last week Apple was granted a long series of patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office that show more than a few finger gestures to make your life easier.   So many of the controls on the iPhone and iPad are done through single finger taps.  We touch to select, touch and hold for a copy/paste menu, and tapping the back and forward icons to navigate through app layers.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a finger gesture for copying/pasting, navigating through windows, tabbing through field entry forms, and launching a search?


The image above shows off 24 gestures granted to Apple that may be a sign as to where they’re headed with multitouch input.  While many of these would be impossible or nearly so for the iPhone, larger touch computers like the iPad could see the adoption of more complex two-finger gestures with more fingers thrown.  It also seems like these gestures would require tracking of all fingers to recognize which haven’t made contact.

It’s pretty crazy that we’ll eventually be interacting with computers in all forms through complex multi-finger (or hand) gestures.  Perhaps we’re not all that far away from what we’ve seen in the movies.  Anyone want to go watch Minority Report?  There are more gestures in the source link, so go check ‘em out!

[Via PatentlyApple]