With a future version of the iPhone or iPad you may be able to move your fingers above the surface to control and manipulate objects. That's one of the tantalizing features detailed in a filing Apple made Tuesday with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The Apple patent filing called "Working with 3D objects" explains how to coax a 2D object into three dimensions by lifting your fingers and then manipulating it through gestures.
In one example, Apple describes a pinch-and-pull gesture that can squeeze and stretch certain parts of the object as if you were squeezing and stretching a lump of clay. These gestures could be especially useful in a CAD program in which you need to design and tweak 3D objects and tap into a menu of different tools.