Apple has filed three patents for the next generation of touch interface.

The patents cover: "Identification and classification of intuitive hand configurations and motions enables unprecedented integration of typing, resting, pointing, scrolling, 3D manipulation, and handwriting into a versatile, ergonomic computer input device".

The new "multi-touch" surfaces that would be created as a result of these ideas being put into practice would be capable of tracking and recognising all the movements of your hands and fingers on and near the touch surface.

The gestures will then be interpreted and transformed into intuitive commands.

The examples given are as follows:

* Need to move a cursor across the screen? Just slide your finger and it goes.
* Need to erase some text? Use the backspace or just slide the finger backwards
* Have to write or draw something? Just pretend you hold a stylus or pen in your hand and start writing/drawing.

One other cool possible function is 3D object manipulation, where users could select 3D objects on the screen and use their fingers to move them around.

This new kind of touch could be for future iPhones, or for the much rumoured Apple tablet.