Ralph Baer

Douglas Edric Stanley


Apple Mechanical Overlay Patent
Apple Mechanical Overlay Patent

Above are some images of an Apple patent which have just been published by the US Patent Office. It’s an interresting idea: a touch-pad, just like the current Apple trackpad, or a touchable-screen, as in the rumored touch-screen iPod, but that can house different mechanical overlays that convert all or part of the surface into a mechanical device. The more improbable being a joystick (ok, I’d like to see that thing withstand intense gamer pounding), with the more serious being a control surface which is what many people use Macs for already, although they plug in the controller alongside it. These ideas can obviously go in many directions, and I won’t comment them any more here, at least not right now. But while all the (other) geeks out there are salivating, I just wanted to point out that Apple’s idea maybe isn’t all that original, especially when you compare it to this technology I used to play in the 1970’s under the name Magnavox Odyssey (1972):

Magnavox Odyssey, 1972