Most of the time when I talk about patents, it relates to another depressing story about how they are being used to hurt competition. Occasionally, however, a patent on something that actually looks really cool and relatively new emerges, as is the case with today's material.
What you see above is the Apple patent for navigating a 3D environment with motion control, filed back in 2010 but just now released to the public. In case you were wondering, it concerns 3D graphics on a traditional display, not actual 3D found on devices like the EVO 3D. However, it does show a new 3D graphical interface that looks like a room, which would work along with the new motion controls to create a type of virtual reality effect.
This 3D interface could be easily navigated simply by moving the device around, as if you were using the camera to look around the room. The patent seems to suggest that this would serve to eliminate difficulties using current interfaces with only one hand, but it doesn't seem to provide a great solution for zooming or tapping.
While this probably isn't going to be coming out anytime soon, it is a pretty cool application for the various sensors in modern smartphones. I'm still unconvinced as to whether it would actually make use any easier, but I certainly wouldn't mind Apple giving it a try.[AppleInsider]