Just a couple of days ago, we saw a leaked case for the iPod nano that seemed to confirm that Apple intends on ditching the sports clip and integrating a 1.3 megapixel camera instead. At the time, we wondered just why Apple would do such a thing.
Now it looks like we know: it’s so the Nano can look out into the world and see just where it’s being used, then adapt itself like a chamelon accordingly.
In a patent spotted by PatentlyApple, Apple seems to be looking to position the Nano, not as a sports player (as now), but as a fashion accessory, which would “implement a wild new dynamic screen saver system that could sense the environment it is in and in a chameleon-like fashion automatically change the screen saver accordingly.”
That would explain why Apple seems interested in abandoning the Nano’s sports clip, but how would it work? By combining image pulled in from a webcam with other sensors, like an environmental sensor or a microphone.
Apple patents don’t always end up becoming real products, but this one confirms a bunch of substantial rumors lately that Apple is going to start trying to sell the Nano as bling instead of as a sports-worthy PMP. And it directly confirms that Apple wants to cram a camera into the Nano.
Earlier, I was astonished that Apple would look to sacrifice the Nano’s sports-cred by ditching the clip, but with this patent now public, it all makes sense, and now I wonder why they didn’t do this before. Apple’s got two sports-oriented iPods in the Shuffle and Nano, and they don’t like redundancy. Starting this generation, Apple’s going to reposition the Nano as their fashion iPod.