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Apple receives patent for iPod scroll wheel

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
News Categories: iPod

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published a patent granted to Apple, Inc. which broadly covers the iPod’s use of a touch-sensitive scrolling surface for accessing media in combination with on-screen and possibly audio scrolling cues. Titled “Touch pad for handheld device” and originally filed in 2006, U.S. Patent 7,348,967 describes a handheld music player that “includes a controller disposed inside the housing and configured to acquire motion information from the touch pad assembly and to control various features of the music player based on motion information provided by the touch pad assembly. The features include at least moving the visual indicator through the list of songs. The direction and speed of the movement of the visual indicator is based at least in part on the direction and speed of the finger sliding across the planar touch surface of the touch pad assembly.” The associated images (pictured) show an early (first- or second-generation) iPod, with a touch wheel and separate control buttons for selection, track forward/backward, play, and pause. As explained, the patent could conceivably cover certain post-iPod touch-based media players, such as recent Microsoft Zunes. [via MacNN]

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Comments

1

am i missing something, or is this what they’ve been using since the 2nd generation ipods?

Posted by Reg on March 25, 2008 at 4:35 PM (PDT)

2

^^
yeah, what’s up with that?

Posted by Larry on March 25, 2008 at 5:04 PM (PDT)

3

Unfortunately the US government is a tad slower than American industry. Apple has just now been granted a patent, I would imagine they’ve been under the “patent pending” status since the release of the first scroll-wheel iPod.

Posted by beiler on March 25, 2008 at 5:38 PM (PDT)

4

Yes, but according to the article, they filed the patent in 2006.  I agree with others, given the timeline that this was actually implemented, shouldn’t the patent have been filed long before 2006?

Posted by Dan on March 25, 2008 at 9:59 PM (PDT)

5

I like the drawing of the 2G iPod. There are numbers pointing toward different parts of the hand, so that one will know what they are talking about. I wasn’t sure if that was my thumbnail or my wrist.

Posted by Darth Tater on March 26, 2008 at 11:04 AM (PDT)

6

So this is the precursor to Apple suing everyone that makes touch sensitive media players?

Posted by Rob on March 26, 2008 at 11:28 AM (PDT)

7

For Dan and some of you please note this patent is a continuation of an earlier patent (7,046,230) filed in 2002.

Posted by Mark on March 26, 2008 at 3:08 PM (PDT)

8

IMO I think the next iPod classic should look exactly like the 1st Gen iPod with the old scroll wheel.

Posted by Ryan on March 27, 2008 at 2:27 PM (PDT)

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