Apple iTablet / iPhone DS Patent Surfaces
A recent Apple patent application suggests that the company is exploring ways to incorporate dual-multi-touch-screens in some of their upcoming devices including an iPhone clam-shell model, the often-rumored tablet and laptops. The filing references almost 20 patent applications previously filed by Apple with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The application describes a dual sided trackpad, which would be translucent (!) and contain multitouch sensitive panels on each side, allowing it to be used opened or closed. The “capacitive array element [that] may be a dual-sided panel that is capable of sensing touch from either side and sending signals indicative of the touches to a host device (e.g., a desktop computer, a laptop computer, a digital music player or a mobile telephone unit),” the patent reveals.
The technology would allow for a more compact, flip-based iPhone model (…or what everyone’s been calling the iPhone nano. â€”Ed.) with Nintendo DS type gameplay/GUI options. However, the patent goes even further.
The application also outlines an Apple Tablet device, which appears to have a smaller form factor in the patent drawings, allowing the iTablet to sport the transparent dual sided trackpad. In the closed position, it’s a standard slate tablet computer, with a multi-touch touchscreen, however upon expansion it becomes a normal laptop computer. The bottom side contains the keyboard with multi-touch trackpad or can morph to whatever application you’re working on…how about a virtual mixing board, MIDI controller or DJ rig?
Exciting stuff for sure, and makes the current crop of Apple MacBook Pros, and even the Air, look real sissy. If any of these concepts make it into the next generation of cell phones and computers, the results will have a serious impact on the music industry.