Will Apple take over your car?

Sure, Apple has tons of tricks up its sleeves, and it's racking up the patents as well with things like a rotary-dial iPhone, iPhone nano, clamshell iPhone, and a click-wheel keyboard. But Apple has never ventured away from the areas of phones, music, and computers -- until now.

Sure, Apple has tons of tricks up its sleeves, and it's racking up the patents as well with things like a rotary-dial iPhone, iPhone nano, clamshell iPhone, and a click-wheel keyboard. But Apple has never ventured away from the areas of phones, music, and computers -- until now. Apple has just filed a patent application for an in-car touchscreen device.

Engadget posted about the new patent today, and it seems like Apple is trying to get its paws wet in every area possible -- and right now, it's the auto industry. It's no lie that in-car touchscreens can be unsafe at times, causing additional distractions for the driver. Apple is apparently trying to change that by creating a safer touchscreen system for your car. The patent could ensure safety by not letting the driver operate the touchscreen while the car is moving. Additionally, it could be capable of letting only the passenger operate the system while the car was cruising. The system would use a range of sensors to do that, and it would even consider the angle of the person's fingers, making the driver unable to operate the touchscreen.

The patent application also implies that the system could be broadened to detachable handheld devices, in addition to being built into a vehicle.

Although Apple has come up with some crazy patents in the past, it makes sense that Apple would head in this direction. The market for iPod-to-car connectors is going strong with drivers hooking up their iPods for their commute, so what's stopping them from taking that a step further? Apple is not one to shy from patenting its ideas, even if they seem foolish, so what's one more to add to the pile? Maybe this one will actually happen down the road?

Check out our gallery of past Apple patents.

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