Apple patent application reveals future iPad with backside controls for gaming

“There’s great news for gamers this morning. A new patent application published by the US Patent & Trademark Office published this morning clearly illustrates that Apple has been working on backside controls for the iPad specifically for controlling video games,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“Of course being Apple, the sensor based controls are positioned beneath the surface of the iPad so as to not to appear as hard buttons of yesteryear,” Purcher reports. “Although Apple has already been granted a patent regarding backside controls for the iPad, we find that today’s revelations build on this foundation with specifics aimed at video games.”

Purcher reports, “Apple states that utilizing a surface as the input allows for application-specific input devices to be implemented. For example, the surface may be utilized as an input device for gaming, providing game specific inputs.”

Much more, including Apple’s patent application illustrations, in the full article here.


  1. So, when Apple lets the developers start making apps for the “hobby” Apple TV, this little $99 box is going to crush all other TV gaming boxes. It should have already been opened up. Nice to see the gaming giant is about to wake up!

    1. i think they’ll open it officially when they get the content providers to allow VOD service. Then Apple will give us the whole 100% package- content, games, voice control… You name it.

      It would be considered by some to be ‘incremental’ if they just opened it to angry birds and stuff. Apple is probably waiting so it will be more ‘revolutionary’ when it comes out.

      Games over AirPlay are already pretty good. I rarely have to look down at my phone screen at all.

  2. Could this be Apple’s response to Microsoft stepping into the iPhone and iPad market. Tim Cook may have let you sit on the side with your Xbox for a little longer. Like Google, you wanted to step in it. So, now Steve Ballmer, you loose the gaming market that Apple let you keep until now.

  3. Unfortunately the Sony PS Vita already has backside controls which some games make us of – Little Deviants – for example. Not sure if Sony has patented the technology but they can definitely claim prior art.

    I do think backside controls are a good idea however Apple may have a hard time defending this patent at a later date.

    1. Yes Sony Vita does but it’s not the same as it has actual buttons and thumb button (whatever that’s called) control. It is not however “touch” control and imagine looking at each, one could never be confused about the other.

      I don’t think they would have any problem proving their’s is different.

  4. oh, look at them. they copied what sony did for PSP Vita. they will get suing. I can’t wait to see it. apple doesn’t create technology but only consider closure which is only matter of time to fade away.

    1. They haven’t really announce they will release such claims, but I’m pretty sure that Apple most likely developed or will developed something unique…..And I bet you will be one of the first one making the line to buy one…

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