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Apple patent filing hints touchscreen for iPods

Posted: 17 May 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:iPhone? touch screen interface? Apple iPod?

Apple Inc.'s recently filed patent application indicates the company may be considering the use of a touchscreen on other devices besides its much-talked-about iPhone.

The patent request shows blueprints for placing a touch-sensitive screen on the backside of a device for control purposes, leaving the front side for presenting information appropriate to the device, such as video.

The filing stirred up speculations that the company could be considering the use of a touchscreen on the iPod. To date, the company has only announced plans for a touchscreen on its iPhone. Apple, which has a policy not to comment on future product plans, was not immediately available for comment.

According to the patent application, the touchscreen would have a cursor that would follow a person's finger. Once the cursor was above a control element, the user could apply pressure to activate the associated function. As a result, the device could be operated with a single hand.

The front of the device would be used for displaying video, graphic or textual information, while the back would have the control elements, which could include a QWERTY keypad, sliders and control wheels, the application said. Apple listed a number of devices that could use the backside touchscreen, including handheld computer systems, tablet computer systems, personal digital assistants, portable video or audio playback systems, and mobile telephones.

- Antone Gonsalves
InformationWeek




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