With introduction of an iPhone, Apple opened our eyes to the possibilities of full screen touch interfaces. But such interfaces have one drawback – there’s a limit how small you can make it.
It would be difficult to put such an interface on iPod Nano – with your finger covering a better part of touchscreen, how would you operate it?
Don’t worry, Apple now has a solution. Why not make a full screen iPod or iPhone Nano, and put an operational touchpanel on the back side?
This way you can have a full screen of Next Gen iPod/iPhone Nano for viewing. When active touchpanel on the back side is activated, transparent device controls appear, depending on the mode the device is in – scroll wheel, song list for music, alphanumeric keypad for dialing, QWERTY softkeys for messages.
The cursor on the screen will follow the position of your finger. You can slide the finger through the force sensitive touchpanel, applying pressure when you reach the desired control or symbol and selecting it.
Since the materials on the bottom touchsurface need not be transparent, haptic controls like VibeTonz can be easily implemented in the device, providing vibration touch feedback when controls are pressed.
There are still technological and ergonomic limitations of how small such a device can be. You should not expect to see 3G iPhone Nano anytime soon.
But a full screen iPod Nano with active force sensitive touchpanel at the bottom is a real possibility even today. And so is a little bigger 2-2.5G iPhone Nano with the same technology.
Source: Apple patent filing
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