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Patent hints at iPod touchpad illumination

updated 11:55 am EST, Thu January 24, 2008

Illuminating iPod touchpad

An application submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office suggests that future clickwheel iPods, i.e. the Classic and the Nano, may use illuminated touchpads. The technology involves lights placed beneath the surface of a pad, which illuminate in different ways as users pass fingers (or possibly styluses) over top. In the most basic incarnation, one or more sections of the pad light up as users touch it; this may indicate the possibility of multi-touch control, but the patent also suggests illuminating only a single segment in some cases.

The style of the illumination may likewise vary, from simply appearing as a halo, to having leading and trailing edges, possibly in different colors. Swiping around the pad may also produce special motion effects, such as generating a "comet" complete with a tapered tail. Sensors used may be able to detect acceleration, and increase or decrease the brightness of lights as users scroll faster.

Beyond iPods, it is suggested that the patent could be applied to trackpads, namely those used on MacBooks. Something similar is said to already exist on the MacBook Air.

by MacNN Staff





  1. I WAS the One

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Time to quit

    the iPod it's dead as soon the ipod touch introduce a 80g Harddrive. so why worry about the click wheel now? when Apple calls a product Classic it's telling the costumers "this is the last one" so... bye Classic iPod and the Click Wheel

  1. sachxn

    Joined: Dec 1969



    unless otherwise Apple brings about some new innovation/invention into click wheel iPods they will be passe by next year.


  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Virtual Click Wheel

    This could be done on screen on the iPod Touch/iPhone where I guess it would be easier to implement.

    Not much point though. Anyway who looks at their click wheel/trackpad when they use it.

  1. docsharp76

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Patent hints at iPod

    Great blog with lots of useful information and excellent commentary! Thanks for sharing.

  1. docsharp76

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPod illumination

    I enjoyed reading about the iPod illumination. Another good site about how to repair iPods is at to fix broken iPods.

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