Onshape has some clever cooks sitting around their mobile CAD kitchen, pouring the gravy on pretty thick from the beginning. Earlier this week, I posted on SmackTalk about a new Onshape patent that popped up. The Touchscreen Precise Pointing Gesture patent. This is (I beleive) their 7th patent, after their last was published in Auguest of this year for Force Touch Zoom Selection.

You’ll be familiar with both if you’re a user of Onshape Mobile. The precise pointing (or precision selector as they call it) displays a target selector offset from your finger tip, allowing for more precise selection, while the force touch can be used to zoom in when applying pressure to the screen. Using the two in conjuction is about as nifty as selecting faces, lines and vertices gets on a touchscreen.

Onshape Mobile Precision Selector

Here’s the patent background on the precision selector:

In many user interactions with a touch screen, precision doesn’t matter. Either the user is aiming for a hard-to-miss target (such as a button) or is touching the screen only to scroll in one or both dimensions (in this case, the touch location doesn’t matter—only how much they move after they touch).

In certain other applications, however, the user is trying to start their finger at, or move it to, a precise point. This is inherently difficult, since humans have opaque fingers, and users can’t see the portion of the screen under their fingertip(s).

And the solution:

The solution is a touch screen selection and movement control to select based on initial touch but then establish an offset before any movement, allowing visibility of any movement destination as well as cancelation without movement if the initial selection is incorrect.

The patent goes into all the exotic detail. If you find those interesting along with how touchscreen tech is advancing, you’ll enjoy reading a couple of Onshape patents.


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.