Having added a multitouch capable touchscreen display to the latest generation iPod Nano, Apple looks set to remove the device’s screen entirely as a new patent reveals plans for a gesture controlled, touch-sensitive case.
Despite using a Nano in its included patent illustrations, the company’s trademark registrations pose claims of a touch-responsive shell to be adopted by devices for future iterations. Such patents are not a new development, however, with Apple filing trademarks on similar technologies as early as 2007.
The latest patent filings would see users able to control music play and track selection on a screen-less device such as the iPod Shuffle with simple gestures representing a variety of commands. According to the Apple patent, a single tap on the responsive casing would play or pause music whilst a double tap would skip playlists forward one track.
Other finger motion controls for the mooted product shells would see a triple tap skip back a single track and a clockwise or counter-clockwise circular motion increasing or decreasing the playback volume respectively. It has yet to be revealed when Apple expects any such technologies to appear on consumer products.
Could touch-sensitive cases find a way to replace touchscreens on certain devices? Share your thoughts via the T3 Twitter and Facebook feeds and stay tuned to T3.com for all the latest from the Apple camp.