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Multi-touch clickwheels next for iPod? Patent might hold the answer

The iPod Classic and the click wheel has taken a backseat, the backseat of a bus, compared to the iPhone and the iPod Touch with their touch functionality in the recent year, but a recent patent filing could reveal that Apple still has interesting plans for both the iPod Classic and iPod Nano featuring the clickwheel by bringing multi-touch functionality to the traditional wheel.

The last rumors around the iPod Classic was that a camera might be the next feature for this popular classic that started the iPod adventure for Apple, but now the news that multi touch might come to the iPod Classic as well, without taking away the once revolutionary clickwheel, might bring new life into the classic iPod.

The recent patent filing was discovered by our friends over at AppleInsider, and reveals functionality that allows detecting; “input gestures that traverse the center of the scroll wheel and to detect multi-touch input”. The full description of the patent filing refers to a multi-dimensional scroll wheel that can sense the movement of an object, such as your finger, that can be moved both rotational and linear across the wheel. The beauty of this functionality would be that it could allow for multi-touch, picking up more than one movement at a time.

Illustrations as featured on Apple Insider

It is further specualted that this multi-touch functionality can amongst others be used to zoom in and out on text, or even zoom for the rumored camera. Combine this with the application of the same unibody design for the iPod Classic as for the MacBooks, we could be looking at a proper revival of the iPod Classic.

Although the iPod Classic and the iPod Nano quite easily drowns in the amount of news and chatter around the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and the iTunes App Store, lets not rule out a revival of the Classic, the originial iPod.

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Filed in: iPod Classic

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