Apple seems determined to file one patent for each iPod it sells. The latest to come to light is for proximity detection, and it relates to the eventual “true” video iPod.
The screen just looks like a basic screen, but when you move your finger close to it it recognizes your presence and a virtual clickwheel appears for your navigational needs. It’s a fairly logical addition – you can get into the menu mode without having to press an extra button. It also seems like the clickwheel will appear wherever you put your finger.
The patent, which was filed on September 30, 2005, indicates that the same tech could be used to pull up a navigation pad or a virtual keyboard as well. It could also be used with a stylus if Apple decides to go that way with its new machine, but that seems much less likely.
It’s all just more to dream about.