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Ten physical gestures that have been patented

June 8, 2011

"Gesture profiles" patent for operating the Kinect (credit: Microsoft)

It sounds crazy, but tech companies have been patenting physical gestures for almost two decades now.

In a world ruled by touchscreens, Kinect, and Guitar Hero, these businesses don’t want people making certain gestures without paying for it.

Here are 10 physical gestures that have been patented:

  1. Slide to unlock (Apple)
  2. Multi-touch gestures for touchscreen or trackpad (Apple)
  3. Drawing each letter of the alphabet using a single stroke of your pen (Xerox)
  4. Making hand gestures to move icons around on your phone (Samsung)
  5. Any set of personalized gestures you use to operate your Kinect (Microsoft)
  6. Flicking your pen at something (Microsoft)
  7. Shaking your mobile device (Intellectual Ventures)
  8. Moving 3D objects in a virtual environment (Lucent)
  9. Two-handed motions (GestureTek)
  10. Texting without lifting your fingers off the keyboard (Swype)
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