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The Courier may be dead, but we are still getting to see the innovations built by Microsoft back when development on Courier was still in its prime. A patent application filed by Microsoft back in January 2009 describes the page curl feature – exactly the way it is implemented on the iPad’s iBooks app.
In the application, Microsoft writes,
“One or more pages are displayed on a touch display. A page-turning gesture directed to a displayed page is recognized. Responsive to such recognition, a virtual page turn is displayed on the touch display. The virtual page turn actively follows the page-turning gesture. The virtual page turn curls a lifted portion of the page to progressively reveal a back side of the page while progressively revealing a front side of a subsequent page. A lifted portion of the page is given an increased transparency that allows the back side of the page to be viewed through the front side of the page. A page-flipping gesture quickly flips two or more pages.”
To be fair, virtual page curling is neither Apple’s nor Microsoft’s innovation. At least as far as I can remember, the functionality was already available on the iPhone app named Classics.
It will be interesting to see if Microsoft indeed wins rights to this subtle yet interesting feature