Apple's new iPod patent reinvents touch controls

Just when you think Apple has run out of creative ways to control an iPod, they wow you with a patent that you totally couldn't have thought up on your own. This one is especially unique and cool, although we'd be surprised if we saw it actually make it to a consumer model.

It's an iPod comprised of two sides: one side is a screen, the other a blank, touch-sensitive surface. When you want to control it, a transparent control layout appears on the screen. Instead of touching the screen, however, you touch the back. Where your fingers touch are shown via a cursor on the screen. Move your fingers around to the right place, press harder, and the back registers it as a click.

It sounds like something that might take a bit of getting used to, but we think it's a pretty awesome idea. It would be especially awesome if the back had some method of tactile feedback so you felt those clicks. Come on Apple; let's make this one happen.

Patent, via Boy Genius Report