Apple Patents Steering Wheel Remote Control for Media Players

May 16, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

There is no dearth of intellectual capital at Apple’s stable. That is what we always felt whenever we went for a dig at the United Sates Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The case was the same recently when USPTO published some 21 newly granted patents for Apple. One among them really caught our eyes.

The new Apple patent is for a steering wheel remote control for portable media players. As per the filing, the remote control, which resembles an iPod click wheel, can be clipped on to the steering wheel of a vehicle and used for controlling a media player.

The faceplate of the remote control is touch sensitive and allows the users to control their iPad, iPhone or similar portable media players without taking their hands off the wheel.

The touch sensitive remote control can detect a touch input from a user and interpret it for a desired operation. The device then sends it to the portable media player through the electronic circuitry on the base section.

With the newly-patented device, Apple overcomes a major drawback of the existing in-vehicle entertainment systems which force the users to look to the media player interface to control it, often taking their eyes off the road while driving.

The faceplate is rotatable once mounted on a steering wheel and the clamp on the base of the remote control, according to the filing, can be adjusted to suit steering wheels of varying sizes. So no worries even if you change vehicles.

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