Print 18 comment(s) - last by pixelslave.. on Feb 13 at 9:41 PM

Courtesy USPTO

Courtesy USPTO
Interesting patents recently filed by Apple reveal much of what we already expected

A few pictures of Apple's touch sensitive patent application began springing up on various blogs recently with fairly self explanatory pictures of Apple's plans for the next iPod Video.  The patent, for "Mode-based graphical user interfaces for touch sensitive input devices," was filed three weeks ago states the following:

The invention pertains to gestures and methods of implementing gestures with touch sensitive devices. Examples of touch sensitive devices include touch screens and touch pads. The invention also pertains to user interfaces and methods of implementing user interfaces with displays.

When Apple's previous iPod Video hit store shelves with a tiny 2.5" screen sporting a 320x240 pixel resolution, Apple proponents and opponents alike criticized the company for not ditching the passé "wheel" and opting for a larger screen instead.  The touch display described in the patent seems to give the best of both worlds.  

The patent goes on to describe gesture-like qualities to the input device, claiming the wheel motions are not limited to a designated area on the screen, but can be free formed depending on the application.

Now if only Apple would give in to the rest of my demands and put WiFi on one of these things.

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whats the point of wheel gestures?
By lexmark on 2/12/2006 8:06:32 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not understanding the need of wheel gestures. what's the advantage of turning your finger in a wheel rather than just touching an option to select it?

RE: whats the point of wheel gestures?
By wien on 2/12/2006 8:57:28 AM , Rating: 4
Removing the need for fiddly scrollbars on a portable screen, and not having to lift your finger when scrolling through long lists. (Like a media library)

By Furen on 2/12/2006 10:01:43 AM , Rating: 2
Also, not having to look at the screen to point and "click". You could skip to the next/last track and raise/lower volume without much effort.

By ElFenix on 2/13/2006 2:26:37 PM , Rating: 2
you may be able to do both. but the first is already in use so you couldn't patent it.

By CrackRabbit on 2/12/2006 6:28:08 PM , Rating: 2
Am I the only one who sees the problem of smudges?
If your screen is your interface, and you are suposed to use your finger (as opposed to a stylus) how are you going to do it without smudging it constanly?

RE: Smudges?
By Wahsapa on 2/13/2006 12:03:38 AM , Rating: 3
the next big ipod accesesory is windex

Maybe smoke and mirrors
By JASANITY on 2/13/2006 2:55:02 AM , Rating: 2
This patent doesnt make sense. Ipods and screens scratch and smudge easily(I own an ipod nano). Why make it worse by encouraging users to touch the screen. It's like saying, use a touch screen for CRT monitors...this product will bomb if apple puts this out. In the meantime, I will wait to be buyer 1 billion on itunes to hopefully get the free products =)

RE: Maybe smoke and mirrors
By Questar on 2/13/2006 10:16:12 AM , Rating: 3
You assume the screen would be the same one used on the current ipod.

Which, since it's a touch screen, it would not be.

By GhandiInstinct on 2/12/06, Rating: 0
RE: hmm
By lexmark on 2/12/2006 8:00:38 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think society's crackPod addiction will go away overnight. Sure the psp has passed the 'hip&cool' test, but the next psp wouldn't take over the mp3 market because of its larger size and external HD. I don't think sony has has a itune-like marketplace for psp either if im not mistaken.

RE: hmm
By Enoch2001 on 2/12/2006 11:01:57 AM , Rating: 2
GhandiInstinct said: I sense the PSP 2.0 will become the demise of this future pod player from apple : )

Unlikely; the iPod dominates this area with a solid (proven and loved) distribution model that Sony is way behind. The PSP is gigantic compared to your typical iPod Video and the lack of a hard drive cripples its capabilities in this department. Even a 2.0 version of the PSP will need room for analog pads, directional arrows, and other "game-like" controls that will always make it larger.

Where Sony *could* dominate, however, is marketing the next generation PSP at portable WiFi web browsing ethusiests (aka Nokia 770) but add GSM networking capabilities so you can browse the web without having to be in a WiFi spot. They also need to upgrade to at lease WiFi 802.11G, keep the screen the same size (or slightly larger), crisp, and make it touch sensative, and allow 3rd party manufacturers (or themselves) to release a bluetooth-type QWERTY keyboard accessory.

I feel the iPod Video and the PSP have similar *crossover* markets, but they have completely different uses also.

Screen Damage?
By CKDragon on 2/12/2006 12:02:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not an everyday user of touch-screen technology, but if you repeatedly circle your finger in one area of a touch screen, wouldn't that part of the screen begin to show wear and tear?

I haven't used a Nintendo DS, either, is this an issue with their touch screen at all? I mean, I've seen touch screens in public areas get worn out (gas stations/Wawa ordering counters, etc...), but obviously they get around the clock usage. I was just wondering if people with more experience were worried about the same thing.


RE: Screen Damage?
By jkresh on 2/12/2006 3:50:54 PM , Rating: 2
Having owned several pocket pcs, and used them for years at a time before replacing I can say that if touch screens wear out, it takes allot more use then most will ever put on the device. Now if you are constantly mashing the screen, or putting serious pressure on it the sure you can break it, but it’s not likely to happen in normal use.

somewhat confirmed?
By UNCjigga on 2/12/2006 1:29:44 PM , Rating: 3
At the MBAMEC conference in NYC this Friday, an executive at a major content producer/network claimed to have seen a prototype widescreen video player that they have big hopes for. He didn't name the company, but pretty much everyone guessed it was Apple, especially since this company hooked up with iTunes relatively recently.

Read, much?
By daniel1113 on 2/12/2006 12:48:53 PM , Rating: 2
"The patent goes on to describe gesture-like qualities to the input device, claiming the wheel motions are not limited to a designated area on the screen, but can be free formed depending on the application."

YAY for me!
By BillyBatson on 2/12/2006 9:25:22 PM , Rating: 2
I love this idea! larger screen while preserving the interface style that has brought ipod mainstream fame and works perfectly! I own an ipod video and yes i wish the screen was bigger but it works decently for some music videos or movie trailers. Can't wait for a product like this!

Full-length movies?
By android1st on 2/13/2006 6:51:06 PM , Rating: 2
What do you guys think about Apple distributing full-length movies via iTMS? How would this effect Apple's relationship with studios?

I keep waiting for Sony to get with the program and subsidize Memory Stick Pro Duo sales (cheaper bundling maybe to boost PSP sales) b/c I think the PSP's screen combined with Sony's clout with other movie studios make it a much better Personal Video Player (PVP) than many of the other options out there. The 6G iPod doesn't fit this category, and only the PSP's lack of a hard drive limit that device. If Sony could start selling larger flash chips and develop an iTMS-like service that people would actually use (unlike Sony Connect) and that has movies available, the PSP would see a sales resurgance and finally Sony could get back at Nintendo.

By pixelslave on 2/13/2006 9:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
Companies like Apple file dozen or more patents every year. Many of them never sees the light. A device like the one describe can cost over $800 if it's a media player only device. It will either need a heavy battery or it will have short battery life. Bringing such product to the market requires a lot more than just the touch screen and the gesture input.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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