Apple Computer has applied for a patent on several methods of applying gestures to touch-sensitive input devices, possibly implying a touch-pad- or touch-screen-enabled product is in the companys future.
The companys patent, "Gestures for touch sensitive input devices," features a large illustration of a hand making the "dialing" motion that controls an iPod on a large, blank display. The patent describes several methods for inputting touch commands, including the implementation of floating controls as well as the method of turning a virtual page, such as in an electronic book.
The patent is actually an extension of a similar patent Apple filed in July 2004, which has yet to be granted.
"The invention relates, in one embodiment, to a computer implemented method for processing touch inputs," Apples patent reads. "The method includes reading data from a touch sensitive device having a multipoint capability. The method also includes identifying at least one multipoint gesture based on the data from the touch sensitive device."
Apples now-defunct Newton PDA used a touch-screen and stylus for input, but the computer and electronics manufacturer has yet to bring back a PDA in a stand-alone or integrated form. However, Apples iPods also include basic PDA functionality, including the ability to store contacts.