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Eyes-free navigation for those situations where looking at the iPod is too risky

Apple is quite fond of filing for patents, especially those that surround its widely used iPods. But who can blame Apple for doing so? Any creative or unique idea could very well turn out to be a big revenue generator for Apple, considering that iPod and music sales make up a huge portion of Apple's income.

While the new patent doesn't cover a touch-screen iPod video, it does give light into a new navigation system that Apple is working on for future iPods. Because more and more users are using iPods in situations where they are unable to look at the screen, such as while driving, Apple has made it so it is possible to navigate the iPod menu system without taking your eyes off the road. While scrolling through the menus, the iPod will speak back what item is being selected so that users will be able to listen to what's going on.

Apple also recently filed a patent that covers how to navigate a graphical user interface using gestures such as moving your fingers on a touch-screen in specific patterns or didrections. According to Steve Jobs, integration features for Apple's iPods are now being put into over 40% of new cars in the US. Over in Europe, BMW was the first to implement an iPod integration feature into its venerable 3-series, which allowed songs to be displayed on the center console and the audio controls on the steering wheel to control the iPod.

Now that future iPods will be able to speak to their listeners, it may not be too long before their listeners will be able to navigate the iPods by speaking to them.




"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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