Earlier this month the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Microsoft that revealed a new hover sensing system for mobile devices such a Surface tablet, future smartphone and HoloLens. Hover touch sensing involves sensing a non-touch or pre-touch interaction of a finger or stylus with a surface, such as a display.
A finger or stylus need not physically contact the surface. Our cover graphic above is from Microsoft’s first granted patent for a hover touch system that we covered back in April. Hover touch technology is also being explored by Apple who was granted their first patent for this technology last April. They originally filed that patent back in 2009.
Microsoft’s technology could extend to Virtual and Augmented Reality applications. Whether Apple’s application could extend to future AR applications is unknown at this time.