Apple have given us a clue to their future plans with a new patent that may revolutionise home entertainment.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office have granted Apple a patent for way to interface humans with computers using sensors, touch screens and virtual reality gloves.

The news was broken by Patently Apple, who called it “a wild patent”.

Perhaps, like me, you said “5D… wait, what?” and thought Apple were delving into the higher dimensions usually the domain of string theorists and mathematical physicists, it turns out that 5D is a marketing ploy for a patent that, as Patently Apple put it, has the potential for “the widest range of applications I’ve ever seen.”

The 5D patent outlines advanced technology, interactive gaming and video conferencing. Think of gesture-controlled devices in the same vein as the Kinect or Wii. With the virtual reality gloves, home entertainment could take on a whole new meaning, with the ability to change their resistance to electromagnetic forces, heat, air or more.

Also covered by the patent is tactile feedback technology, which could entail starting a car or other device through a handprint rather than with a key or button. How? In the Apple future, a “touchscreen” need not be a capacitive panel. They could be pretty much anything.

Exactly what the Cupertino company is going to produce for consumers with this isn’t clear, but it’s probably fair to imagine something big is on the horizon.