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  • "No-Look" Interface for iPod nano Patented


    A patent applied for over a year before the new iPod nano came to light - but released last week - shows Apple is considering a simplified multi-touch interface for its smallest media player that allow a user to control it without looking at the touchscreen. Addressing issues some users have had operating the device when it's worn on a clip, the interface includes different combinations of taps and holds for playback and volume controls.

    The patent application notes that having physical buttons on a device increases the size of the device, but that smaller devices with fewer buttons are difficult to operate when looking away from the device, such as during a workout. The inventor describes different ways that users could control their devices, such as a single tap to play and pause media playback, a double-tap to go to the next track and a double-tap-and-hold to fast forward.

    While the iPod nano is not specifically mentioned in the patent, drawings submitted with the application clearly show the nano's small touchscreen, but without any physical button. It's not clear if this was a design that was simply rejected, or if Apple has been holding off on implementing it in future generations of the nano until the patent was firmly in hand. The patent application was submitted on June 25, 2009, and the sixth-generation iPod nano was announced on September 1, 2010.

    Source: AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: "No-Look" Interface for iPod nano Patented started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. delusion950's Avatar
      delusion950 -
      Sounds like a good idea except regardless of how many taps do id still look at the ipod.
    1. Eagleye's Avatar
      Eagleye -
      Duuurrr... why dont they just include the iphone-type headphones with the remote? From what I've heard they work great with the nano....
    1. krosis's Avatar
      krosis -
      This is something I kind of wondered about when they first released the new nano. A lot of people complained that unlike the 5th gen, you couldn't use the 6th gen without looking at it. But I've seen the screenshot of music playback. It has a giant play/pause in the middle, and forward/reverse on the sides. With the headphone cable obviously coming out of one side, I'd think a regular user would quickly adapt to "touch just past the headphone for forward, the far side for reverse" kind of a thing. I guess it just seemed like kind of a fake problem.

      Either way, always great to see gestures replace spatial controls.

      Quote Originally Posted by Eagleye View Post
      Duuurrr... why dont they just include the iphone-type headphones with the remote? From what I've heard they work great with the nano....
      Agreed. Why Apple still makes headphones without a 3-button built in remote I just don't understand.
    1. iZoom's Avatar
      iZoom -
      sounds very similar to pocket touch
    1. Skipp2k's Avatar
      Skipp2k -
      Sound like what Music Control does on the iphone/ipod.

      There is an option to turn on gestures when the device is locked, I use it all the time, great to change tracks and play/pause by a few swipes and a couple of taps.

      I am surprised that this is not a feature on all ios device now.
    1. novadam's Avatar
      novadam -
      Quote Originally Posted by Skipp2k View Post
      Sound like what Music Control does on the iphone/ipod.

      There is an option to turn on gestures when the device is locked, I use it all the time, great to change tracks and play/pause by a few swipes and a couple of taps.

      I am surprised that this is not a feature on all ios device now.
      +1 this is just MCP "swipes"

      phoenixdev should sue apple
    1. politicalslug's Avatar
      politicalslug -
      Quote Originally Posted by Skipp2k View Post
      Sound like what Music Control does on the iphone/ipod.

      There is an option to turn on gestures when the device is locked, I use it all the time, great to change tracks and play/pause by a few swipes and a couple of taps.

      I am surprised that this is not a feature on all ios device now.
      You took the words from my mouth.
    1. DisneyRicky's Avatar
      DisneyRicky -
      Quote Originally Posted by politicalslug View Post
      You took the words from my mouth.
      So the app works without the screen being lit up?
    1. Skipp2k's Avatar
      Skipp2k -
      Music Control has a option to allow you to control your music by swiping the screen even when the screen is off, I bought Music Control for the blue tooth support but now keep it just for this feature.
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      smart, if i had one im sure i would want these types of functions, i didnt even like trying one out at the apple store