This is kind of neat. Back in early 2011, Apple patented an idea for a way for drivers to control the tunes playing on their iPhones or iPods without taking their hands off the wheel.
The solution? A tiny little ring that fits on your steeling wheel with an iPod clickwheel on top.
The ring — abut the size and shape of the plastic trinket you might find inside a box of Cracker Jacks — would connect via Bluetooth to your iPhone or iPod, which in turn would be hooked up to your car stereo. It even had a rotatable face plate.
You’d think Siri would kill the need for an accessory like this, since voice is clearly a better way to search for and play tracks than a remote control is, but even with Siri, you still need to take one hand off the wheel to trigger the voice control.
I think it’s doubtful we’ll ever see something like this as a real product, but it’s still a cute little patent when it comes to being a simple, elegant solution to a common problem.