Information and Links
Join the fray by commenting, tracking what others have to say, or linking to it from your blog.
The Ultimate Customisable iPod/MacBook/Tablet- add the controls and software and make it a phone or what ever you want.
Apple has just filed a new patent application for the adding of physical controls (like buttons or sliders etc) to the touch sensitive surfaces of electronic devices. Apple seems to propose that you take a ‘blank’ iPod and add a wheel for a standard iPod, add a keypad to make it a phone – add a joystick to make it a game machine. The overlays are identified by the computer/device and it reacts accordingly. Imagine adding a nice volume control to your iPod. The ‘blank’ iPod can be made into a PDA, cell phone, game machine, handtop or remote control.
Add a joystick to your MacBook? How about a mixing desk?
Presumably, this would allow third-party vendors to design their on interfaces for the iPod/MacBook- this would make an extremely versatile machine. Examples mention by Apple include surfaces to make your MacBook a music/video editing machine or even overlays allowing you to add two buttons to your MacBooks touchpad.
From the Application:
There exist today many styles of input devices for performing operations in an electronic system. By way of example, the input devices may include rudimentary mechanical controls such as buttons, keys, dials, sliders, navigation pads, joy sticks, that are mechanically actuated and electrically controlled via tact switches, encoders, and the like, or more advanced touch controls such as touch pads and touch screens that allow a user to make selections and move a cursor by simply touching the touch surface via a finger or stylus.
Unfortunately, these conventional approaches do not fully satisfy user needs. For example, the rudimentary mechanical controls tend to be fixed and inflexible (not easily adjusted or configured for a new task). Further, each one includes electronic hardware that increases the cost of the device. In large control panels, which include a vast number of mechanical controls, the costs can be exorbitantly high.
Moreover, while the rudimentary mechanical controls typically provide tactile cues (clicks), the more advanced touch sensing devices do not. As such, the user does not know when the device has produced a touch input. In some cases, a simple decal is provided over the touch pad to indicate the location of dedicated touch controls. This however, requires the user to look carefully at the surface while the touch pad is being used thereby slowing down productivity. Furthermore, it provides no indication of whether something has been selected.
Inventors: Huppi; Brian Q.; (San Francisco, CA)
Assignee Name and Adress: Apple Computer, Inc.
Serial No.: 128533
Series Code: 11