Apple shows interest in adding camera, games to multi-touch iPod nano

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
New evidence shows that Apple has interest in improving its tiny multi-touch iPod nano with a camera and support for new software such as games.



Potential features of a future touchscreen iPod nano were revealed this week in a new patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office entitled "Environment Sensitive Display Tags." The document, discovered by AppleInsider, describes adding new sensors to the iPod nano, including a camera, to add new functionality.



The application concentrates on software features like screen savers, allowing information or content to be displayed on the device. Apple's proposed invention would use sensors that would display unique content, or change the manner in which it is displayed.



But even more interesting are the illustrations shown in the application that include references to a camera and games. Currently, the sixth-generation iPod nano does not feature a camera, and cannot run software outside of what is preinstalled on the device.



In addition to a camera, the application also makes mention of the inclusion of a motion sensor, temperature gauge, and a microphone. Each of these sensors could be used to dynamically alter the way a screensaver would be played on an iPod nano.







While the application itself makes no mention of the iPod nano model in its text, the images show a small device with no physical buttons with an appearance similar to the multi-touch model Apple released last September.



The mention of a camera in the patent filing comes just days after a new photo claimed to show a seventh-generation iPod nano with a rear-facing camera, and without the built-in clip featured on the sixth-generation model. Another picture, also suggesting Apple could add a camera to its tiny media player surfaced in early April.







A camera was previously featured on the iPod nano in its larger fifth-generation model, released in 2009 and featuring the classic-style click wheel for input. Previous version of the device also supported iPod Click Wheel Games, but no games are available for the touchscreen sixth-generation iPod nano.



While the iPod nano operating system is designed to look and feel like iOS, which powers the iPod touch and iPhone, it is actually a different, unique operating system. In December, hackers managed to crack the software, but have not yet released any useful hacks aside from removing icons.



Apple's patent application was first filed in November of 2009. It is credited to Duncan Kerr, Nicholas King, and Michael B. Victor.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    alienzedalienzed Posts: 393member
    Bah, drop the camera, gives us more battery life. And that clip is like, the main reason why it's so cool.
  • Reply 2 of 25
    timuscatimusca Posts: 120member
    That screen is too small for games... they need to go back to the previous gen model. That was a favorite and they went and fixed something that wasn't broken.
  • Reply 3 of 25
    halhikerhalhiker Posts: 110member
    All I care about with this is bluetooth. If I can't use wireless headphones then it's no use to me.
  • Reply 4 of 25
    jj.yuanjj.yuan Posts: 212member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by halhiker View Post


    All I care about with this is bluetooth. If I can't use wireless headphones then it's no use to me.



    Why use bluetooth earpiece for the nano?



    For me, Apple should make a wearable iPod, which can also act as a bluetooth earphone.
  • Reply 5 of 25
    timuscatimusca Posts: 120member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jj.yuan View Post


    Why use bluetooth earpiece for the nano?



    For me, Apple should make a wearable iPod, which can also act as a bluetooth earphone.



    At first I was thinking this was a ridiculous idea... but then I realized that you could tap it to change tracks and what not just like the buttons on their earbuds. You wouldn't even have to take it out of your ear.
  • Reply 6 of 25
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    This was predicted so last yaer: http://bit.ly/kK4YBS
  • Reply 7 of 25
    jj.yuanjj.yuan Posts: 212member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    This was predicted so last yaer: http://bit.ly/kK4YBS



    I have no doubt that someone has predicted before me



    Somehow, I envision that it will be a 2-piece product. You can use one piece for portability, but you have to go mono. You can use both pieces (with some kind of a band that holds them like a regular headphone) so that you can go stereo.
  • Reply 8 of 25
    Leave the clip and build in the Nike+ Sport Kit receiver. That's the only thing missing.
  • Reply 9 of 25
    I predict the clip will be magnetic and attachable, inspired by the iPad!
  • Reply 10 of 25
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post


    That screen is too small for games... they need to go back to the previous gen model. That was a favorite and they went and fixed something that wasn't broken.



    Agreed. Take the previous model's screen, make it a touch screen, and cut off the scroll wheel. And put back the camera, radio, video playback, contacts, and calendars. That's what the current gen nano SHOULD have been in the first place!
  • Reply 11 of 25
    kozchriskozchris Posts: 209member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trondolsen View Post


    I predict the clip will be magnetic and attachable, inspired by the iPad!



    Good call. That makes a lot of sense.
  • Reply 12 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,411member
    The nano would benefit from some kind of hybrid low-rez/high-rez LCD display. If they could get the clock function to perform using the low-rez screen, they could leave that function on all the time, until the other functions are called up.
  • Reply 13 of 25
    resnycresnyc Posts: 90member
    Strapped to your wrist, with user-facing camera, bluetoothed to earpiece - put a phone in the nano and voila.
  • Reply 14 of 25
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    New evidence shows that Apple has interest in improving its tiny multi-touch iPod nano with a camera and support for new software such as games....



    it seems to me that if it has a camera, then it can't have a clip so it probably uses magnets to attach to ... what?



    Doing the thing with the two piece clip is just asking for the extra part to be lost, so I'm going to go with the obvious and say that they are going to use a wrist strap like a watch band and it attaches to that. If that's the case though, then the headphone wires are going to be a problem so they have to replace them with ... bluetooth earpieces?



    I do think that if it has a camera it will be the cutest little camera on the planet.



    If they make the shutter a hardware button, it will be really similar to those little cameras they used to advertise in the back of old comic books.
  • Reply 15 of 25
    futuristicfuturistic Posts: 599member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by resnyc View Post


    Strapped to your wrist, with user-facing camera, bluetoothed to earpiece - put a phone in the nano and voila.



    Ah dammit. You beat me!



    Actually, maybe instead of a phone, just FaceTime capability.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    I wish they'd show interest in putting a real camera in the iPad2. So disappointed with that lack of effort. Apple is known for top notch equipment. They should be embarrassed with that .9mpix joke on the back of the device.
  • Reply 17 of 25
    jblongzjblongz Posts: 147member
    At the currently form factor of the nano, I don't see a camera and "games" very useful. Perhaps they will increase the size again.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AndrewCCM View Post


    I wish they'd show interest in putting a real camera in the iPad2. So disappointed with that lack of effort. Apple is known for top notch equipment. They should be embarrassed with that .9mpix joke on the back of the device.



    Its all about the incremental implementations. Next iPad will have a better Camera. Apple just had to stack some extra cash. Its was a business motive. Besides, even though my Ipad 2 doesn't have HDR like the iPhone, I get good use out of it. Looking for ward to the iPad 3.
  • Reply 18 of 25
    pongidaepongidae Posts: 7member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by resnyc View Post


    Strapped to your wrist, with user-facing camera, bluetoothed to earpiece - put a phone in the nano and voila.



    Absolutely, but I'd be happy with just adding stereo bluetooth capability so that you could wear it as a watch and not have a cord attached to your wrist. I for one also love the idea of ditching the clip since it makes a much thinner watch then.



    Now remake the shuffle using the 3rd Gen Shuffle shape (without the clip), add bluetooth, a mic and a built-in earpiece and you have the perfect little iPod/iPhone/iPad/Apple TV/OS X (or any other bluetooth device for that matter) accessory . Allow it to act as a headset when connected to an iOS/OS X device or as a simple Shuffle when not. Add a mono earpiece to the package for stereo out (so no band just a short cable to go around your head to the other ear). Now the Shuffle flies off the shelves as the perfect little Apple accessory and another "feeder product" for non-apple devices adding to the "halo" effect.
  • Reply 19 of 25
    futuristicfuturistic Posts: 599member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AndrewCCM View Post


    I wish they'd show interest in putting a real camera in the iPad2. So disappointed with that lack of effort. Apple is known for top notch equipment. They should be embarrassed with that .9mpix joke on the back of the device.



    Meh. The iPad 2 camera is not designed to be a "photographer's" camera. If you want to do real photography, get a real camera. I think the iPad 2 camera is designed more for augmented reality-type applications, and very simple photos or video.
  • Reply 20 of 25
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AndrewCCM View Post


    I wish they'd show interest in putting a real camera in the iPad2. So disappointed with that lack of effort. Apple is known for top notch equipment. They should be embarrassed with that .9mpix joke on the back of the device.



    The Megapixel count of the sensor is a very poor way to tell the quality of a given camera.



    For the record it's actually a 0.7 mpix sensor



    Given that low pixel count on the sensor, it's actually pretty amazing quality camera.
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