New Gestures for Mac OS X and iOS Shown in Apple Patent: Digging, Shredding, Opening a Trap Door, Pouring, Shake to Arrange

Aug 12, 2011 - 2 Comments

New Gestures coming to Mac OS X and iOS says Apple Patent

Future versions of Mac OS X and iOS may be even more gesture based, as a new Apple patent shows off a variety of complex multi-touch gestures to perform various system tasks. A few of the patented gestures and behaviors and their potential functions include:

  • Digging a hole – presumably to move, copy, or save files and windows
  • Opening a trap door or window – possibly to open new windows or applications?
  • Shredding – presumably to close or minimize a window or delete a document
  • Pouring – combining gestures with physically moving a device, this could be a new gesture based method of transferring files from one device to another
  • File aging – icons show gradual deterioration as they get older (aliases in Mac OS X already do this)
  • Shake to arrange icons – self explanatory, instead of selecting “Arrange files” from a menu you could just shake the device

Typically Apple patents don’t indicate much more than Apple’s wildly creative side, but with how prominent gestures are in Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5, this particular patent shows a lot more real-world potential than usual. The other noteworthy side of the patent is the obvious touch-screen interface to something that looks more like Mac OS X than iOS, but you can read into that how you want. I should point out that some of the above potential explanations are my own guesses as to the gestures functionality, but you are encouraged to read the patent, look at the drawings, and arrive at your own conclusions.

More images from the patent are below, or you can read a great breakdown of the patent at

Trapdoor patent diagram

pour gesture as seen in Apple patent

Shake to Arrange

I think it’s safe to say that the future is gesture based.


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Posted by: Matt Chan in Mac OS, News, Rumor


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  1. bronco says:

    I’ll keep my mouse, thanks.

    In 30 years I’ll sound like the guy who is still using his AM radio, heh

  2. Tinman says:

    Wow I actually thought this was a joke–a parody. But, nope, it is real. Just when I thought I was all gestured out…. lol.

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