or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPod + iTunes + AppleTV › Apple working on adding multi-touch to iPod click-wheels
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple working on adding multi-touch to iPod click-wheels

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Having pioneered multi-touch for its iPhone and iPod touch handhelds, Apple later extended the technology to trackpads on its Mac notebook line and now appears ripe to introduce the first iPod click-wheels with similar capabilities.

Though sales of the iPod touch have taken off in recent quarters, recent reports suggest that we haven't seen the last of click-wheel-based iPods, the next of which is expected to turn up this fall in the form of a fifth-generation iPod nano with a built-in digital camera and more compact circular scroll wheel.

This new nano could be the first iPod support multi-touch gestures through its click-wheel, according to recent patent filing discovered by AppleInsider this week that details methods for detecting "input gestures that traverse the center of the scroll wheel and to detect multi-touch input."

More specifically, the 38-page filing made just this past September describes a "multi-dimensional scroll wheel" that "can sense a moving object, such as a finger, as it is moved not only in a rotational manner but also in a linear manner across the center of the scroll wheel." This new breed of scroll wheel would also be capable of sensing more than one object at a time, such as multi-finger touch or motion.

"Applications can be enhanced by the improved range of input enabled by the scroll wheel circuitry," Apple explained. "For example, linear motion, such as a swipe across the scroll wheel, can enable an image browsing application to cause images, such as album cover pictures for example, to be transitioned across a screen."

Multi-touch input, such as one finger touching an inner region of the scroll and another finger rotating in the outer region, can also enable a zooming application to cause a displayed image to be zoomed-in or out, depending on the direction of the rotation. Similarly, a pinching or expanding of a user's fingers can enable the zooming application to cause a zooming action.



"The scroll wheel circuitry can also bias the sensor element configuration according to the type of input event expected," the filing adds. "For example, if a particular application permits only linear motion input along a particular axis (e.g., a horizontal or vertical swipe), the scroll wheel circuitry can utilize only the sensor elements arranged along that path to sense for an input event. By using less than all available sensor elements in this manner, the scroll wheel circuitry can achieve power savings."

The filing is credited to over half a dozen Apple engineers, including Lakshman Rathnam, Louis Bokma, Fletcher Rothkopf, Andrea Mucignat, Erturk Kocalar, Benjamin Lyon and Joseph Fisher.
post #2 of 34
Wouldn't it make sense to remove the wheel then? I mean, if it just have a big surface on front where you can touch it, would be better. You could still make the circular movement, but now you could also just move your fingers up/down.
"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
Reply
"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
Reply
post #3 of 34
Might not make a 100% sense right now, but still I am sure once it comes out we will all understand and buy one each!
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
Reply
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
Reply
post #4 of 34
This is what I love about Apple. Their constant desire to improvise, to do something new.
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by T'hain Esh Kelch View Post

Wouldn't it make sense to remove the wheel then? I mean, if it just have a big surface on front where you can touch it, would be better. You could still make the circular movement, but now you could also just move your fingers up/down.

Would absolutely love that! Like a trackpad for the iPod. Would be awesomely amazing!!
post #6 of 34
So much for putting all the controls on the cord of the headset. I'm glad to see that Apple has come to their senses in that regard. The click wheel is perfect- intuitive and easy. No need to get rid of it.
post #7 of 34
I thank especially Erturk Kocalar fot his.
post #8 of 34
Like a Zune pad with multi-touch, no?
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

So much for putting all the controls on the cord of the headset. I'm glad to see that Apple has come to their senses in that regard. The click wheel is perfect- intuitive and easy. No need to get rid of it.



I suspect the controls on the cord is only deemed appropriate for the shuffle because they want it to be compact and it's just music. You really don't need anything but volume, play/pause etc in that case.

but with more forms of media you have nested menus etc and that's going to be a total pain with that little remote. a touch area could work. just for the sake of nostalgia you keep the wheel look perhaps.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

I suspect the controls on the cord is only deemed appropriate for the shuffle because they want it to be compact and it's just music. You really don't need anything but volume, play/pause etc in that case.

but with more forms of media you have nested menus etc and that's going to be a total pain with that little remote. a touch area could work. just for the sake of nostalgia you keep the wheel look perhaps.

Controlling anything via a flailing cord is a pain versus the device itself w clickwheel attached securely to your hip while running. What were they thinking? i Love my 2 gen. The 3 gen is just a gimmick- imHo.
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by T'hain Esh Kelch View Post

Wouldn't it make sense to remove the wheel then? I mean, if it just have a big surface on front where you can touch it, would be better. You could still make the circular movement, but now you could also just move your fingers up/down.

It might be prettier to have a circular shaped multi-touch trackpad. In addition one of the major motions is circular, so it makes sense to optimise the sensors for this motion, hence a circular arrangement for the sensor.
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by nite41 View Post

Would absolutely love that! Like a trackpad for the iPod. Would be awesomely amazing!!

I imagine the reason Apple doesn't add a touchscreen to the iPod Nano and the iPod Classic is that it's probably still too expensive for them to do so while maintaining their existing profit margins.
post #13 of 34
That's a great idea Apple. Especially if the nano gets a camera. You'll need an easy way to navigate.

I just hope we see this on the nanos coming out this year. After buying my forth gen I wasn't sure these things could get a whole lot better, but a built in camera and a gesture based track pad really opens up new possibilities.
post #14 of 34
Personally, I would not mind seeing a simple remote on the headphone cord. Or at least an extension cord with a remote so you dont have to buy special headphones with builtin remotes.

Simple controls like play and pause/stop would be enough. As an avid audible book listener, sometime I just want to pause the naration without havingto remove, unlck and stop my ipod (I know on the iPhone I can just unplug and it will stop wheer it is, but I still need to unlock and find the right item before I can restart)
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by fabsgwu View Post

Like a Zune pad with multi-touch, no?

No. Not like a zune.
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post

I imagine the reason Apple doesn't add a touchscreen to the iPod Nano and the iPod Classic is that it's probably still too expensive for them to do so while maintaining their existing profit margins.

Not the only reason. Touch screens will always have the smudgy fingerprint problem that is not present with traditional laptops with touch pads or iPods with scroll wheels. The iPod touch and iPhone are great devices, but they are less than ideal as pure-play video players because the screen is always smudged. So there is still a role for the more traditional ipod form factor.
post #17 of 34
so now apple has the "circular touch pad" patented .
amazing work,
post #18 of 34
...toward the inevitable...macBook Wheel

http://www.theonion.com/content/vide..._revolutionary
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by phelix_da_kat View Post

Personally, I would not mind seeing a simple remote on the headphone cord. Or at least an extension cord with a remote so you dont have to buy special headphones with builtin remotes.

Simple controls like play and pause/stop would be enough. As an avid audible book listener, sometime I just want to pause the naration without havingto remove, unlck and stop my ipod (I know on the iPhone I can just unplug and it will stop wheer it is, but I still need to unlock and find the right item before I can restart)

It's a bit expensive since it also includes the radio tuner, but here ya go:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/MA...mco=NDcwMzE1Mg

I rarely use the radio tuner functionality. I mostly use it to clip to my jacket to avoid having to dig out my iPod, especially in the winter when you are wearing gloves and multiple layers of clothing.

PS: It only works with the regular iPods, not the iPhone or touch...yet.
post #20 of 34
Don't see any reason for keeping the thing round if is gonna be a touch pad. Also I like the wheel on the ipod nano, I think it does its function best. Keep multitouch out of the nano or classic. What they do need is a camera and a radio, would make them super nice music devices.

Use multitouch in touch and phone, where they are amazing.
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
Reply
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
Reply
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by nite41 View Post

This is what I love about Apple. Their constant desire to improvise, to do something new.

Exactly! No resting on their laurels. They want to continue to make sure the next portable music player you buy is an iPod. Adding technoloy and features generates a lot of interest.

I would like to see iPods shipped with bluetooth streaming capabilities, though. I had to buy an adapter. Once you've done without, you definitely don't want wires!
post #22 of 34
GETTING READY FOR THE TABLET TIME FOLKS

thats what this is for..



9
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by phelix_da_kat View Post

Personally, I would not mind seeing a simple remote on the headphone cord. Or at least an extension cord with a remote so you dont have to buy special headphones with builtin remotes.

Simple controls like play and pause/stop would be enough. As an avid audible book listener, sometime I just want to pause the naration without havingto remove, unlck and stop my ipod (I know on the iPhone I can just unplug and it will stop wheer it is, but I still need to unlock and find the right item before I can restart)

I'd love to see BT streaming built in. You can control music decently enough (skip, pause, play) with any BT headphone. The voice technology on the shuffle would work well with that ...not that I've used one. I really don't like wires. Of course, video is a different story.
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Not the only reason. Touch screens will always have the smudgy fingerprint problem that is not present with traditional laptops with touch pads or iPods with scroll wheels. The iPod touch and iPhone are great devices, but they are less than ideal as pure-play video players because the screen is always smudged. So there is still a role for the more traditional ipod form factor.

Well, I image than any portable device will not have a picture-perfect screen, since it'll either be smudged, in a pocket, or with some kind of plastic protection. Either way, it'll never be crystal-clear. To me, the point of watching video on the iTouch or the iPhone isn't to get a perfect cinematic experience, it's to pass idle time.

Apple's direction seems to be to make all of their music players touch-screen. Due to the expense involved, this will take a while.
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcmlxix View Post

...toward the inevitable...macBook Wheel

http://www.theonion.com/content/vide..._revolutionary

I remember that! I thought it was awesome.
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by fabsgwu View Post

Like a Zune pad with multi-touch, no?

Zune trackpad is a failed copy of Apple Click wheel. The shape and curve just doesn't make sense. Other MP3 players did a better job than Micro$oft...But what you know, its Micro$oft.
Apple had me at scrolling
Reply
Apple had me at scrolling
Reply
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

they are less than ideal as pure-play video players because the screen is always smudged

Why would you leave it smuged? I just rub mine on my shirt a few times and it's good as new.

And that's not unique to my iPhone - heck, I was doing it in the 80's with my walkman...
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Touch screens will always have the smudgy fingerprint problem that is not present with traditional laptops with touch pads or iPods with scroll wheels.

I dunno, I touch my laptop screen all the time and it's harder for me to clean my laptop screen since I have to get a special cleaner to not mess up the covering. One thing I like about my new MacBook Pro with the glass screen, no special cleaner any more.

For the iPhone or iPod, a quick swipe on my shirt and they are good to go.

My main problem with the touch screens is your hand and finger tends to block what you are trying to touch. Once programmers start taking that into account (by, for example, offsetting the controls to the side or below whatever it is you are trying to control) this will be less of an issue.
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Controlling anything via a flailing cord is a pain versus the device itself w clickwheel attached securely to your hip while running. What were they thinking? i Love my 2 gen. The 3 gen is just a gimmick- imHo.

I think they were trying to get more headphone manufacturers to make more headphones with built in remotes, and a whole bunch have come out. Now if you have any ipod other than the shuffle you can buy third party headphones and have controls on the device AND a remote on the headphones. Also the remotes location close to the earpiece means it wouldn't swing around much. I don't think it would be a problem for most people buying a shuffle.

As for multitouch on the clickwheel. I like the idea as I've been resistant to touch screens due to the lack of haptic feedback. I like the ability to change songs and adjust the volume without while running without looking at the device. A multitouch clickwheel would increase functionality while still allowing me to perform basic tasks without looking at the device.
The key to enjoying these forums: User CP -> Edit Ignore List
Reply
The key to enjoying these forums: User CP -> Edit Ignore List
Reply
post #30 of 34
Why is everyone assuming this patent is only for the click wheel of an iPod? The little "scroll ball" on the top of my Apple Mighty Mouse works well for awhile, then sucks big time when it stops working. What if Apple planned on redesigning the Mighty Mouse and instead of the scroll ball, used a round touch pad that can be clicked? This patent description would fit the bill just right. I think that would be awesome!!
post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ulfoaf View Post

Exactly! No resting on their laurels. They want to continue to make sure the next portable music player you buy is an iPod. Adding technoloy and features generates a lot of interest.

I would like to see iPods shipped with bluetooth streaming capabilities, though. I had to buy an adapter. Once you've done without, you definitely don't want wires!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nite41 View Post

This is what I love about Apple. Their constant desire to improvise, to do something new.

You guys crack me up, check this out: http://www.theonion.com/content/vide..._revolutionary
post #32 of 34
If, according to recent rumors, there's a major upgrade to the iPod line, especially the Nano, here's what I'd like to see (including the rumored upgrades):

- the larger, greater aspect ratio screen (16:9), as rumored by AI
- I think the camera would be very cool and useful
- fully functional headphone remote like the new Shuffle
- upgraded OS to be able to use some of the Apps (or similar) that don't need text input
- WiFi, for updating Apps (think weather apps, news, etc.) and downloading music/podcasts
- this multi-touch click wheel
- the click wheel more monochromatic than white on _______
- 32GB version
- improved sound

I think the form factor is great, but something along the line of mock-ups I saw recently (sorry, do not remember where) of the iPhone resembling the aluminum MacBooks would be really cool: more squared edges from the side, rounded corners from the front. I've heard some complaints of the sharp corners on the curved body, but not a big deal.

My 2nd gen Shuffle is dying, so I'm thinking of upgrading to a Nano, as my iPhone is too big to carry while exercising. These changes would be a sure sell to me.
post #33 of 34
Can see this is all leading somewhere, providing zoom through pinch and spread is one big step towards being able to size and crop photos taken with the camera on a nano.

But I'm still wanting a wireless keyboard that INCLUDES a mouse / trackpad capability thats big enough to use on your lap. The wireless keyboards are just great, as keyboards, the mighty mouse clogs, so now there's an OS coming that understands finger movements on a touch screen, how about something for the desktop / mac mini under the TV users?

With a bit of coding could even have an on-screen keyboard driven from a trackpad, just like an iPod touch.

I keep asking for a combo wireless keyboard / trackpad, nicer than the DiNovo please....
post #34 of 34
It's interesting that Apple seems to be taking a very different tack from MS and their Zune HD.

As best as I can make out, the Zune HD is kind of a big Nano, rather than a direct competitor to the touch. I get the impression that Apple will continue to add bells and whistles to the Nano line that will crowed the HD from below, while continuing to evolve the Touch in a way that makes the HD sort of pointless.

Apple seems to feel that the market segmentation works like this: big touch screen equals pocket computer and all the functionality therein. Small form factor equals super portable media player with ever more sophisticated UI and added functionality.

MS seems to be going with big touch screen equals big media player with added functionality. I suspect that's because the "small computer" chops are being reserved for WinMo 7 devices, which would be a more direct competitor to the iPhone/Touch. Perhaps at that point the Zune HD will be revised to do more, but it seems a bit muddled.

I think Apple's in the better position by keeping the iPod OS for the fun 'n cheap neck of the woods, while evolving the iPhone OS/OS X for everything else, as opposed to Microsoft's endless Windows CE permutations, which still will remain forever and always distinct from Windows per se.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPod + iTunes + AppleTV › Apple working on adding multi-touch to iPod click-wheels