Apple New Patent - Illuminated Touch Pad

Apple New Patent - Illuminated Touch Pad
Apple New Patent - Illuminated Touch Pad. An Apple patent application under the name "Illuminated touch pad" was published by the US Patent & Trademark Office. Patent application 20080018617, titled “Illuminated touch pad,” describes an “illuminated input device” comprised of “an object sensing mechanism capable of sensing a user input over an input surface; and a visual feedback system configured to illuminate the input surface in association with a user input.”

The Apple patent indicates a new generation of iPods equipped with scrollwheels providing feedback using illumination of the wheel itself.

The illustration accompanying the patent shows a scrollwheel of the familiar design which glows brighter the greater the scrolling input from the user’s finger. The patent lists the folowing ways in which light would be used in the proposed scrollwheel:
* Changing intensity with the speed of scrolling
* Different areas of the wheel lighting up depending on where the user touches it

Apple makes a great number of patent applications which never see the ‘light’ of day and this may be one of them as the proposal seems to offer very little return on the investment required in re-tooling and design. But we just might see this idea appearing on multi-touch pads on iPods and MacBooks in the future. Among the variations included is a system that provides feedback with variable intensity (or color) based on direction and speed of the object in the sensing field. It's a possible indicator of some future advancements in the interface of the iPod classic.
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