Apple has filed for a patent that describes a new feature it might add to the iPhone. This describes a method that would make it easier for users to control this device through its touchscreen.
This smartphone already has a touch-oriented control system. The system Apple wants a patent for would create a sort of dictionary of gestures people could use to perform common tasks. For example, moving a finger on the screen in the shape of a W could launch the web browser.
The patent application says that these gestures could be made with more than one finger, creating what it calls a chord. The current iPhone already some two-fingered gestures, such as reducing the size of an image by squeezing its corners.
Apple’s proposed system includes chords users set for themselves, in addition to the pre-defined ones.
The application, which was filed in early January, can be found on the U.S. Patent and Trademark web site.
More Than Just the iPhone?
One line in this patent application has set off a burst of speculation about this company’s plans. It says that this patent is for "desktop computers, tablet computers, notebook computers, handheld computers, personal digital assistants, media players, mobile telephones, and the like."
At this point, the iPhone is Apple’s only device with a touch screen, but this patent could be taken as an indication that this company intends to release more.
Of course, it could also be Apple covering any potential products it might develop at some point in the future.