Apple’s Latest Patent Filing Features Large Multi-Touch Surface – Perfect For Music Controllers!

Apple Inc. filed yet another “multi-touch” patent application recently that reveals a next-generation multi-touch Surface. The patent describes the Surface’s as a device that would combine typing, pointing, scrolling, and handwriting capabilities into a single hardware design aimed at replacing traditional input devices such as the keyboard, mouse, trackballs, drawing tablet and others. However, the ramifications for the music industry could be far greater.

Thanks to innnovators like JazzMutant with their Lemur and Dexter devices, the concept of using a multi-touch device as a MIDI controller, a virtual audio mixer, surround panner, a DJ mixer, and so on has sparked the imaginations of musicians and producers everywhere. It even opens the door to musical instruments yet developed.

Much of the patent’s concepts are attributed to Wayne Westerman of Fingerworks, a concern that Apple bought when it was first developing the iPhone. The four filings, each sporting varying descriptions, outlines a generic device that “provides tactile key or hand position feedback without impeding (the users) hand resting on the surface or smooth, accurate sliding across the surface.”

“The surface would include an electronic system which could provide images of flesh proximity to an array of sensors with such resolution that a variety of hand configurations can be distinguished. This would allow the device to identify different hand parts as they contact the surface so that a variety of hand configurations can be recognized and used to distinguish different kinds of input activity,” Westerman describes in the filing.

The Future: This new patent demonstrates exactly where the industry is pointed for future input devices, but more importantly showcases how this new technology will directly impact the audio industry as well. Exciting stuff for sure!

Author: FutureMusic

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