Feeds

Apple applies to light up laptop touchpads, iPod clickwheels

Visual feedback

High performance access to file storage

Apple has touched on a new way to help you find your way around its products. The company has registered technology in the US that could see the iPod’s clickwheel or your MacBook Air’s touchpad light-up when you finger it.

Apple patent

Apple's design for iPods with light-up clickwheels

The patent application, which was filed recently with the US Patent and Trademark Office, shows in block diagram form how the inclusion of a lighting mechanism would help guide users around a device by relating menu options to lighting changes. It's little like someone switching the hallway light on and off for every step you take up the stairs.

Apple patent

Which light mode catches your eye?

Apple’s patent lists several potential designs. For example, one diagram shows how the light could track the user’s finger around a scroll wheel like a ball of fire. Whilst another tracks the user’s digit in block formation.

Apple patent

The idea could be incorporated into laptops, like the Air

The most intriguing design shows how the intensity of the light emitted would grow as the speed of the user’s scrolling increases. So, if you’re really in a hurry to find your favourite song then you’ll get a handy clickwheel torch.

While the patent application rambles on for many pages, as they often do, the real question is, how much would the addition of a light to a clickwheel or touchpad really improve the operation for users? Will there be different light colour options? Can the wheel flash to the beat of your music? Or, will it affect the iPod and Air's existing operation negatively, such as by shortening battery life?

Register Hardware wants to know your thoughts.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.