A patent has been granted to Microsoft for 3-D touch. We’ve known about Microsoft’s desire to use this technology for over a year but the panted was not granted until recently.
In the not so distant past, Microsoft had plans for a McLaren smartphone with 3-D touch that would let you hover over your screen to perform certain tasks and enter inputs. According to Windows Central, Microsoft still wants to utilize 3-D touch in a smartphone.
The official patent from the US Patent & Trademark Office is rather lengthy but begins with a brief description “Example apparatus and methods concern detecting an angle at which an object is interacting with a hover-sensitive input/output interface.”
The angle detection is likely a key factor here. Being able to identify which way a hand or finger is pointing would be useful, if not required, to make a 3-D touch phone unique. Of course, this is only a patent being granted that we’ve known about before. It could be for a new phone, it could be a patent leftover for the McLaren, or it could be for something else entirely.Further reading: Microsoft, Windows Phone