Patent Pending: Is Apple One Step Closer To A “True” iPhone Nano?

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A recently-unearthed patent from Apple Corp. reveals the design of a compact — and utterly revolutionary — dual-sided handheld device that could very well be the "iPhone Nano" that's achieved Lock Ness Monster status over the last year or so.

The dual-faced device reported has a a full-face display on one side, and a force-sensitive touch based surface with etched controls on the other.  In essence, what you see happen while watching the front screen is controlled by finger presses/movements on the backside.  It's not transparent, as you might think by looking at the diagrams.

Aside from the mental shift involved in this touch-the-back-and-see-the-result-in-the-front paradigm, it would be interesting to see if separating a "touchscreen" into its separate (i.e. touch and screen) components would result in longer life and/or better performance for either or both elements.  Keep in mind, too, that this patent comes from John G. Elias (ex-Fingerworks), who's already working at the House of Jobs on other sophisticated touch-related patents.

[Via MacNN]

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