Apple Will Reposition iPod Nano As Bling Using New Camera And “Chameleon-Sense”

Apple Will Reposition iPod Nano As Bling Using New Camera And “Chameleon-Sense”

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.

Apple Will Reposition iPod Nano As Bling Using New Camera And “Chameleon-Sense”

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.

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  • aga

    I bought an obsolete 5th Gen Nano because I did not like the sports clip. It doubles the thickness of the Nano, bucking the trend with iPhone/iPad, and would not fit onto my iPod speakers. Crazy, if you want a clip, buy an accessory!

    Now, give me a Nano touch with a Calendar (something else the 6th Gen dumped) and I would buy it and wear it as a watch. Why? My music is on my iPhone which I play through BlueTooth. so I do not want it for music. However, the Nano can also be used as a USB flash drive, as well as a watch, stop watch, and, I hope, a compact calendar. I am still waiting…..

  • Saltydog

    Another fine example of Brownlee jumping to conclusions. How exactly will a back facing camera do this if the device is being worn as a fashion accessory with the screen facing out?

    Read the patently apple article in more detail next time. Understanding it might be good too. Tut

  • vonchambers

    I think what would be even cooler would be if there was a front facing camera instead, a sports clip, and the front facing camera was used to do this. A back facing camera would always face inwards and would be covered up …. not sure how it would work that way. but yeah I’m waiting till the day the entire case changes colors depending on your enivorment.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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