Apple patent to add touch controls to iPod casing

iPod Nano to scrap screen in favour of touch body?

Gesture controls to expand beyond on screen commands

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.

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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.