According to a report out of AppleInsider, Apple has been developing a new control system for controlling devices from a distance. The patent, titled “Real Time Video Process Control Using Gestures,” specifically relates to editing video from a distance on another device. It mentions various touchscreen gestures, but also suggests that certain gestures could be performed from across the room.
The array of sensors required for such a task (infrared, multiple cameras) seems very similar to those that control the Xbox Kinect, Microsoft’s “body-controller” device. Below is a picture from the relevant part of the patent.
While many of Apple’s patents aren’t incorporated into products for years, if at all, the applications of this technology could reach far beyond the video editing the patent describes.