Apple bought PrimeSense, the company behind Xbox Kinect, back in November and now it's taking plans further to use smart feature recognition for gesture controls.

Now the US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent for "Three dimensional user interface session control" which, as you can see from the photos, means gesture controls.

READ: Apple acquires company behind original Xbox Kinect

Much like the film Minority Report the user will be able to move their hands in the air to control items on the screen. We imagine it being a lot like a touch controlled tablet but doing it from a distance without physically touching any screen.

So how is this better than a keyboard and mouse? For a start it will help keep Apple's minimalist aesthetic as users control their system with nothing but a screen. It should also allow Apple to introduce touch style controls to computers like Microsoft has done but without screen smudge marks. This should ultimately allow for an operating system that works across tablets, phones and computers. Mac and iOS have already begun sharing features so this could be the next step.

Users will be able to set a focus gesture to unlock the device without touching anything. This could be ideal for Apple TV or the fabled Apple television. Apple has spent up to $360 million on buying PrimeSense so lets hope it can get this technology in its kit soon.

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