Apple patents iOS steering-wheel controls

As driving is a major task in our daily routine, and we spend a significant amount of time on gadgets, it was inevitable for the mobile world to find a way in. While the governments are busy enacting laws, software companies are developing better in-car communication. In a recent report, Apple has received patent for its steering-wheel remote control, involving control of several in-car features ‘hands-free’.

The iPhone can be easily put on hands-free for hustle-free driving, iPod required driver’s involvement for operating. With the new Apple technology, the entertainment device (featuring iOS) can be linked to the in-car sound system for enhanced output, while liking the input end to the steering-mounted remote control.

Apple patents iOS steering-wheel controls
Translating from the patent pictures, the steering wheel-mounted remote sports the iconic Apple clickwheel, featuring a menu button, forward and rewind controls, a play/pause button, and a center select button.

In addition, the disc wheel is touch sensitive, featuring touch sensors that can detect the magnitude and area of touch. The remote mounts on the steering wheel via hinged “clamping feet”, which can fit on steering wheels with various dimensions and structures. As the clamp features a rotary base, the faceplate itself can be rotated in 360 degrees to adjust according to the wheel orientation. The big question here is, will this technology materialize, or will it be thrown off like other Apple patents.

Apple patents iOS steering-wheel controls

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