The "none-touch" iPod revealed


Sometimes Apple seems to just patent things for the heck of it. But its latest invention -- a "touchless" touchscreen for its iconic iPod music player -- could be headed to market in short order. In its recent blockbuster earnings call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer hinted at new iPods coming soon. And last month, Terry Gou, the chairman of Hon Hai, a major contract manufacturer for Apple, blabbed about a "none-touch" iPod on its way in the second half of the year. Apple's new patent shows a tablet-style iPod with a virtual scrollwheel that's activated by the mere proximity of a finger -- so you can manipulate the player without actually smudging the screen by touching it. If the patented device is the same as Gou's "none-touch" iPod, this idea could become reality in your pocket in a matter of months.
Posted by Owen Thomas 7:36 PM 12 Comments comment | Add a Comment

If the drawing is at all to scale, then this looks to be a wee bit larger than an iPod. There has long been speculation about a Mac tablet, but who knows which of Steve's whims will see the light of day?
Posted By Mike, Woodbridge VA : 4:31 PM  

way to be 4 months late with this news... you should read some tech sites first before posting
Posted By Dan from Boston, MA : 10:00 PM  

There have been rumors of this circulating on the net for months now. A constant debate has been heating up on every tech blog and personal site. So, either the radical videos seen on YouTube.com are real, or iPod saw the awesome potential and took the lead. Either way, I'll buy one!
Posted By Dane, Chicago, IL : 10:05 PM  

Yeah, but if you have to be really close to the screen for it to detect your finger it's almost unavoidable that you'll touch it. I guess if you have gloves in winter that's a good thing.
Posted By Nelson, Berrien Springs, MI : 10:29 PM  

This is technology that apple purchased a while ago
http://mrl.nyu.edu/~jhan/ftirtouch/
quite similar to this idea...
Posted By Meb : 10:50 PM  

Well, it certainly is BIG! Earlier releases of patent designs have shown it to be smaller than this. Could this be a separate device altogether and not the next generation iPod. One thing's for sure-clothing designers will have a field day making bigger-larger pockets!
Posted By Jake Slatnesky, Sydney, Australia : 4:43 AM  

What happens when I throw it into my pocket and the "touchless" wheel grazes by my leg?
Posted By Anonymous : 10:17 AM  

To be perfectly fair, Apple learned a hard lesson when it was lax with its patents back in the 1980's. It lead to the rise of Microsoft's Windows, their global appeal and Apple's near-downfall. That is untile Mr. Jobs and Ives brought it back from the brink with their revolutionary iMac and boy how they protected that patent! I guess Apple just doesn't like to take chances, well in regards to patents. It is an exciting concept, nonetheless.
Posted By Roberto, Suisun City, CA : 10:23 AM  

Everyone reporting on this drawing seems to be making the same error: ignoring the size of the hands relative to the device. Unless those are the hands of a child (or an alien) this device is substantially larger then an iPod. Not quite the size of a MacBook screen, but still larger then an iPod. Perhaps about the size of the popular 12" Powerbooks. A Mac tablet, perhaps?
Posted By deBohun, Central Illinois : 11:17 AM  

ok why does it look like we're switching back to the 80's for a turn table? I wouldn't want to share my ipod with friends after i found out they would be smearing their bacteria infested fingers all over it. They just wanted to make sure they can still surpass their competitors. Not really a creative invention.
Posted By Anon Anon, NY : 12:16 PM  

Well I've seen Mactab rumors on the net since 2004. But maybe there will be an ipod and an ipod pro or something
Posted By Stephen, New Yokr NY : 12:27 PM  

I've seen rumors on Mac sites for a while, too. From the concept art i've seen, it will be the same size as the current large iPod but with a full color screen. The rumor was that it was to be debuted in April but that it was held back because of a Apple was negotiating a deal with movie studios to sell films through iTunes but movie studios would not agree to a fixed price for all films.
Posted By CT, NY NY : 1:25 PM  

To send a letter to the editor about The Browser, click hereTop of page

Got a news tip? Send it to The Browser


Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.