Another Apple patent application detailing a next-generation, multi-function handheld device has surfaced. The patent—titled “Electronic Device Having Display and Surrounding Touch Sensitive Bezel for User Interface and Control”—describes and shows a full-screen, iPod-like device that incorporates touch-sensitive areas on its bezel around the screen. The areas would allow users to make selections and operate the device without the need for a touch-screen interface.
From Apple’s patent application:
An electronic device has a display and has a touch sensitive bezel surrounding the display. Areas on the bezel are designated for controls used to operate the electronic device. Visual guides corresponding to the controls are displayed on the display adjacent the areas of the bezel designated for the controls. Touch data is generated by the bezel when a user touches an area of the bezel. The device determines which of the controls has been selected based on which designated area is associated with the touch data from the bezel. The device then initiates the determined control.