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Apple Patent Application Suggests Camera-Equipped iPod Nano With Situation-Aware Screen Savers
Patently Apple reports on an interesting new patent application from Apple describing the use of environmental sensors to generate screen saver content for mobile devices such as the iPod nano. As an example, the device could sense such environmental characteristics as motion, sound, temperature, or even camera input, using that information to provide the users with screen saver content relevant to the setting.
As one example of the technology in practice, Apple describes a screen saver displaying raindrops falling down the screen. By employing the environmental sensing, the device could automatically determine which way is down regardless of the device's orientation, allowing the screen saver to always display the raindrops falling downward.
Apple's figures for the patent application show a device that appears nearly identical to the current iPod nano, a square device with a touch screen displaying up to four icons on a home screen. With the text and images included in the patent application also addressing the possibility of using images taken by an onboard camera to inform screen saver activity, it offers additional evidence that Apple is considering adding a camera to the diminutive iPod nano.
Interestingly, Apple's patent application was filed in November 2009, nearly a year before the sixth-generation iPod nano debuted with the form factor depicted in the drawings.