New day, new Apple patent: Control A Future iPhone And iPad By Finger Swiping The Camera Lens. Patenly Apple says that the patent was filled in August 2008 and published this morning detailing means of controlling an iPhone or other handheld device by swiping one’s finger across the camera lens.
Most prominently, the document suggests the use of the proposed functionality to control voicemail options such as rewind, fast forward, pause and other options while the handset is held to the user’s ear. The patent application also describes integration of an accelerometer to detect tapping input to supplement the finger swipes.
In one embodiment, to access his voice mailbox, a user may tap the phone to cause playback of a message to pause, tap the phone again to resume playback, swipe his finger over the camera lens in one direction to fast forward playback, and swipe his finger over the camera lens in another direction to rewind playback. These actions allow the user to control functions of voicemail review without removing the device from over his ear.
In another embodiment, functions for controlling call features utilize similar user actions or motions. Features such as merging multiple calls, putting a call on hold, and switching between or among multiple simultaneous calls may be controlled by single or double (or any number of) taps of the device, as detected by an accelerometer of the device. These taps may be preprogrammed by a manufacturer, or selected and programmed by a user.