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  • Nano Patent Round Up: Games, Screen Savers Oh My!



    When it rains it pours. A mere 36 hours after the alleged next gen iPod Nano photos surface, Patently Apple dug up a bevy of Apple patents for the Nano and future iDevices.

    The last Nano introduced a limited touch interface to the device, a series of patents uncovered by Patently Apple shows a multitouch interface, "chameleon-like" screen savers, and games could be implemented.

    The most attention in the patents seems to be given to the idea of eliminating today's rather boring and static screen savers. Psychedelic, seizure inducing mosaics, and 3-D text apparently don't cut it any more in Apple's eyes. They would rather utilize an array of senors to monitor everything from temperature and barometric pressure to vibrations, magnetic fields, and even the devices orientation on the planet and apply it to your screen savers.

    The patent contains a dizzying number of possible uses for the sensors. A rain animation is often used as an example. The falling rain can be manipulated by any number of sensors, including altering the direction and speed of the droplets based on the devices movement, and orientation sensors. Imagine having the rain always fall toward the ground no matter how the device is titled.

    The screen saver and its elements are managed by a series of tags and layers. In a menu the user can select the tag function then manage these layers and tags. Each layer can be associated with a sensor and the desired measurement from that sensor. For example the motion sensor can be applied to layer 1 and have the movement direction be detected. Then the camera tag can be applied to that same layer with the color palette being the detected measurement.




    More interesting though is the inclusion of a games section. Games on the nano seem counterintuitive. However, the inclusion of games would mean Apple is opening up the closed operating system of the current nano.

    It will be interesting to see which of these features make it into future Apple products. It is important to note these patents are illustrated using the Nano, but can be applied to any of Apple's iDevices. I can't imagine all of the necessary sensors mentioned in the patent would fit inside a nano.

    Source: Patently Apple
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Nano Patent Round Up: Games, Screen Savers Oh My! started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. zoso10's Avatar
      zoso10 -
      Why go into so much detail for a tiny 1.5" display???? And games on an iPod Nano? Come on, how could anyone play Angry Birds on such a small screen?
    1. Timstanley's Avatar
      Timstanley -
      Quote Originally Posted by zoso10 View Post
      Why go into so much detail for a tiny 1.5" display???? And games on an iPod Nano? Come on, how could anyone play Angry Birds on such a small screen?
      Not that kind of games ......
    1. iSteed's Avatar
      iSteed -
      I really think there IS such a thing as too small... This thing is tooooo small for anything but just music
    1. Phillip Swanson's Avatar
      Phillip Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by iSteed View Post
      I really think there IS such a thing as too small... This thing is tooooo small for anything but just music
      True it is likely too small, but like I said in the article any of these patents can be applied to other iDevices. I can imagine them being more useful on the future iTouch, iPhone and iPad models.
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      Put a touch sensor on the back of the device and presto! - enough screen space to play games. C'mon, think people.
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      patent screen saver really Apple??? If anyone have rights to this game on tiny screen it would be SEGA with their Dreamcast LED memory card, or was it Bandai with their LED egg hatching game Tamagochi (I think that is what it was called).
    1. TheDirtyDiddler's Avatar
      TheDirtyDiddler -
      Screen savers are nice on things like computers, that are, you know... PLUGGED IN. Why waste the battery on your portable device? I think Apple should focus more on making the Nano affordable than on making it high tech. It's only slightly less expensive than an iPod touch. I really can't imagine why someone would get one.
    1. Evilsaint's Avatar
      Evilsaint -
      Looks like live wallpapers with an apple spin on it I hope it comes to the bigger devices though if it is ever implemented
      Games on something that big doesn't sound too appealing.
    1. zoso10's Avatar
      zoso10 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Timstanley View Post
      Not that kind of games ......
      I was being sarcastic.
    1. Cdaniels0's Avatar
      Cdaniels0 -
      I love using mine to Cheat on tests at school...no but I am def. Going to but the next one. ESP if it has a camera.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      I would like the iTunes Visualizer on my iPhone/iPod, that would be awesome!
    1. ArtemisKitty's Avatar
      ArtemisKitty -
      Quote Originally Posted by unison999 View Post
      patent screen saver really Apple??? If anyone have rights to this game on tiny screen it would be SEGA with their Dreamcast LED memory card, or was it Bandai with their LED egg hatching game Tamagochi (I think that is what it was called).
      Both the Sega VMU (Visual Memory Unit) and the Sony Pocketstation (very similar) were used b&w LCD displays, not LED. That being said, the pocketstation DID have IR LEDs in it, mostly used for multiplayer minigames, but also could work as a remote control over short distances. As far as a lawsuit? If they didn't take on Sony over the Pocketstation, it's not very likely IMO for them to try Apple. Games though? Possible, definitely, just needs to be extremely simple and like the aforementioned devices. Guess we shall see. I do like the idea they might be adding barometer/thermometer etc. to the nano though.
    1. Estoque's Avatar
      Estoque -
      It would be lovely to apply the animated weather stuff such as rain drop or something on idevice.