An interesting article by Russell Shaw
has popped up over on ZDNet
regarding the next move for Apple’s iPod. He has got his hands on their latest patent, and it looks like their little MP3 player could be in for some changes in the not too distant future.
Here is the actual patent in written form:
An electronic device has a display and has a touch sensitive bezel surrounding the display. Areas on the bezel are designated for controls used to operate the electronic device. Visual guides corresponding to the controls are displayed on the display adjacent the areas of the bezel designated for the controls. Touch data is generated by the bezel when a user touches an area of the bezel. The device determines which of the controls has been selected based on which designated area is associated with the touch data from the bezel. The device then initiates the determined control. The device can have a sensor for determining the orientation of the device. Based on the orientation, the device can alter the areas designated on the bezel for the controls and can alter the location of the visual guides for the display so that they match the altered areas on the bezel.
What does that translate to? Well at the moment nothing is certain, but the ZDNet article makes some interesting inferences.
We've all heard about the full-size video iPod, and the assumption has always been that it would have a touch screen. However, this patent appears to suggest that the bezel around the screen will be the touch sensitive part, and sliding your finger around the bezel could navigate through the menu system. It would certainly avoid fingerprints all over the screen!
The patent application contained a number
of demonstration pictures
. Within these appeared an option for ‘photos’ leading Shaw to the assumption that the new Apple iPod could be doubling up as a camera as well as an MP3 player.
Got a view on the iPod’s new direction? Let us know in the forums.