Patents, patents, patents. They're a hot topic in the tech world right now, just like the lawsuits that are produced from them. And again, like lawsuits, most patents are completely pointless and just hurt the consumer. But just about everything in this world has an exception – even patents. Today one of Google's was released, and it's one of the coolest I've seen in a long time. 

This new patent covers gestures that are captured by the front-facing camera on any Android device that has one. The system allows you to simulate single and double taps and swiping motions, as well as letting you hover over the camera to perform functions. 

The coolest part is that the camera will take into account the speed at which you perform the gestures and even the lighting on your hands so the system can determine if you're touching the phone or not. This could open up avenues for developers to create Kinect-like apps and potentially make Android the premiere platform for numerous apps. 

As an Android user, I'm really excited to see what comes out of this. I can just imagine how productive phones could be if I don't even have to touch them to get my work done. 

[Patent Bolt]