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Apple gets patents for new iOS speakers, steering wheel control

May 17, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • Drawings of patent granted to Apple this week for a wireless steering wheel remote control.
Drawings of patent granted to Apple this week for a wireless steering wheel… (Patently Apple )

Apple was granted a series of patents this week that included designs for a new speaker system for mobile devices and a wireless iPod remote control that attaches to a car's steering wheel.

The patent for the speaker system shows a loudspeaker about the size of a quarter that would be located on the backside of Apple's iPhone and iPad devices. The patent was issued Thursday.

The design provides improved performance over iOS' devices current loudspeaker despite its relatively small size. No word on whether the new system could make it on the next iPhone.

Earlier this week, Apple was granted 21 patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Among them was a standout wireless steering wheel remote control, according to Patently Apple

That patent pictures a circular device reminiscent of the original iPod's click wheel that attaches to the steering wheel of a vehicle. The remote would control a "portable media player," which is patent-talk for an iPod.

The tough-sensitive click wheel could be helpful for people who do not already have steering wheel controls or superior media centers on their vehicle. But then again, Apple often files patents that never make it to the market, including for the solar-powered MacBook.

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