More info surfaces regarding Apple’s latest iPod touch-screen patent filing

“Another patent filing by Apple Computer that details a touch-screen interface for an iPod or handheld device has surface in the United States,” AppleInsider reports.

“The September 30, 2005 filing is titled ‘Proximity detector in handheld device.’ It describes a touch-screen interface for portable electronics devices that can sense when an object, such as a person’s finger, is approaching. When an object is sensed, the touch-screen interface may perform an action such as displaying a ‘virtual scroll wheel,’ navigation pad or virtual keypad,” AppleInsider reports.

AppleInsider reports, “Alternatively, the touch-screen interface described in the filing could be adapted to work with Apple’s current iPod menu interface, allowing users to employ a stylus or their finger to navigate through and select menu items on an iPod’s display screen.”

Several of the patent’s visual diagrams and their associated descriptions are in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Hon Hai Chairman: Apple about to unveil next-gen iPod using a ‘none-touch’ concept – June 15, 2006
Patent application shows iPod capable of live wireless video conferencing – June 13, 2006
Apple files applications for multipoint touch screen, media file patents – May 11, 2006
Apple applies for ‘smart’ touch-screen virtual keyboard, wireless iPod remote control patents – April 28, 2006
RUMOR: Apple delays new video iPod for redesign of touch-screen interface – April 13, 2006
Apple employees file for ‘wide touchpad and keyboard’ patent – March 02, 2006
RUMOR: True Apple video iPod with 3.5-inch display, touch-screen click wheel coming soon – February 09, 2006
Apple patent application for ‘Visual expander’ for touchscreen display revealed – February 06, 2006
Apple applies for more touch-sensitive display tablet patents – February 02, 2006

20 Comments

  1. ah, it looks like that WAS the delay… they couldnt get the opticle sensor working good enough for the interface, so they are implementing a standard touch screen for the main control, makes sence, since your finger will be on it by then anyway

    this is the extreme first gen of this opticle interface anyway.. maybe next time..

  2. Here’s some of why this is so exciting:

    “Although shown in this figure, the finger is spaced away and not in contact with the touch surface.”

    “In some cases, the virtual scroll wheel displaces the media items, i.e., the media items are minimized or shifted to make room for the virtual scroll wheel. In other cases, the virtual scroll wheel is positioned or laid over the media items (the media items keep their current size, shape and position). The virtual scroll wheel can be made semi-transparent so that the media items can be viewed through the virtual scroll wheel.”

    The semi-transparent part reminds me of comments made by a few Apple officials last June when they were giving an overview of Tiger at WWDC. One of them (sorry, don’t remember who) made a comment about how important the Dashboard technology was going forward and even alluded to other consumer electronics applications (witness FrontRow and now this).

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