Apple had patented a steering wheel remote control for controlling your iPhone, iPad or iPod tunes in the car and on the go, Patently Apple reports. The recently granted patent filing, which the Apple fan website focusing on patents recently reported, is for a device that you can clip to a steering wheel to control your portable music player.
Many companies are now making in-car infotainment systems that interface directly with your iDevices, but you still have to take your eyes off the road in order to manipulate their touchscreens to change tracks. While some manufacturers of car entertainment systems are experimenting with voice control, it is sometimes akward to have to yell over your blastingly loud music at your dashboard to give the system commands.
While some cars actually come with built in stereo controls on the wheel, you are out of luck if you want to install a system in a car that lacks this built in feature. As such, Apple has patented a small device that would feature volume and track controls, as well as a play/pause button, that can clamp onto your wheel for easy access while driving. You will be able to use this system, should Apple actually bring it to market, without taking your eyes off the road, which Apple claims in the filing “can be dangerous and can lead to accidents.”
The clampable faceplate may also include touch sensors that “can be configured to detect contact of an object such as a finger as well as the location and pressure being exerted on the surface of faceplate by the finger or other object.”
You can see images of the new remote Here.