The Cupertino-based company has come up with a way of letting drivers control their mobile devices much easier. The US Patent and Trademark Office recently published 21 Apple patents, which point to the company's plans.
Probably the most interesting one is a wireless remote control, for a vehicle's steering wheel. A small device is easily connected to an iPhone or iPad, allowing the driver to change songs, place phone calls or get directions - without being distracted.
Apple's innovation relies on a wireless device being placed on top of the car's steering wheel. This device, with remote control functionality, includes a base section and a rotating faceplate.
The base section has electronic circuitry allowing it to detect user's input, which it then transforms into the appropriate signal for a portable media device (PMD). The PMD will then perform the desired operation.
The faceplate will look somewhat similar to the iPod's click wheel. Unlike the iPod's click wheel, the device is touch sensitive.
A few sensors could be connected to this faceplate, too. Early reports have suggested that Apple is fascinated in providing devices with the power to control the gadgetry around us. If we're lucky, the next iPhone will be able to control at least our TVs.