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(Pocket-lint) - Apple iOS-powered devices could be getting a new 3D graphical user interface according to patents recently filed by the company.

The new UI should be capable of rendering advanced 3D environments as well as, and get this, detecting hovering hand gestures. This means no more sticky fingers on the iPhone screen should you fancy browsing the news while eating ice cream. 

The first time information about Apple's 3D GUI appeared was all the way back in 2009 and involved head tracking tech. 2010 then saw 3D graphical user interfaces starting to make an appearance on iOS devices. 

The "sensor based display environment" works by taking readings from the gyroscope and sensors, translating them into movement on the screen. Think of it like an imaginary viewfinder that controls what the iPhone displays on its screen. 

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Don't forget that a lot of these Apple patents never make their way to market. This 3D tech, however, shows how Apple is looking at different ways to make significant changes to iOS. 

Traditionally Apple has done relatively little to alter the fundamentals of iOS, particularly the way that applications and the home screen are handled. Who knows, this could mean a significant shift in what Apple does with iOS 6, which we imagine is a long way off right now.

Like the idea of a 3D user interface for iOS? Let us know in the comments below... 

Writing by Hunter Skipworth.