iLounge points to a most exciting new patent application from Apple. There’s no saying when or if this will come to market, but consider me pre-ordered!
A new Apple patent application published today by the US Patent & Trademark Office details a â€œmulti-functional handheld deviceâ€ that has the ability to quickly switch between multiple operating modes. The patent, which was filed in March, describes a device with a touch sensitive screen covering the entire front of the unit and the ability to switch between functionalities such as PDA, cell phone, music player, video player, game player, digital camera, GPS, handtop, and remote control.
â€œBefore a particular device functionality can be used, it typically must be selected for use,â€ a portion of the filing reads. â€œThe selection can come in a variety of forms. For example, the selection may be made via a main menu that includes soft buttons or icons that, when selected, activate the device functionality associated with the soft button. During activation, the GUI for that particular device is brought into view on the display and the software associated with the device is installed, loaded or activated. From that point on, the multi-functional device operates like the selected device.â€