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Apple patent highlights multi-touch Nano wheels

News posted on AppleInsider's website today draws attention to the possibility of a new generation of multi-touch iPods. This exciting news was discovered by the people at AppleInsider who claim to have discovered a recent patent filing by the designers at Apple detailing the detection of: "input gestures that traverse the center of the scroll wheel and to detect multi-touch input."

The possibility of this new fifth-generation Nano will be the first to detect multi-touch gestures through its new, and slightly smaller click wheel and may also have an added extra in the form of a camera. AppleInsider expects this to be released sometime this Autumn.

The thirty-eight page patent filing produced this past September provides details on a "multi-dimensional scroll wheel" which can sense a moving object such as a finger, as it is rotated around the circumference of the wheel, but also in a linear fashion across the center. AppleInsider states in addition, that this new breed of scroll wheel will be able to detect more than one object at a time, such as a multi-finger touch or motion.

When describing this technology within the Nano, Apple explained. "For example, linear motion, such as a swipe across the scroll wheel, can enable an image browsing application to cause images, such as album cover pictures for example, to be transitioned across a screen."

This news is exciting for the Apple community and has come as an extension on the multi-touch capabilities of other Apple products such as the iPod touch, iPhone and trackpads on the later generations of their MacBooks. This is a technology which is popular on other devices and with such impressive technology like Microsoft's Project Natal, perhaps releasing a multi-touch Nano will seem a little redundant and less impressive.

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