Nokia files patent for Steering wheel with vibrating touch controls



I am beginning to to wonder why all of a sudden Nokia filing all these patents, why now? #JustPondering.
Anyway, if you thought the vibrating tattoo ringtone was crazy, check out Nokia's steering wheel with vibrating touch controls, to control your radio, media content and God knows wat else?


 Nokia is claiming the following ..

1. An apparatus comprising: a plurality of vibration sensors configured to be fixed to a steering wheel at given positions of the steering wheel; and a controller communicatively configured to receive vibration information from the vibration sensors and to determine, based on the received vibration information and expected propagation of vibration along the steering wheel, whether a user has caused vibration to the steering wheel and at which section of the steering wheel the vibration has been caused; wherein the section of the steering wheel where the vibration has been caused to the steering wheel is a touch section; and the controller is further configured responsive to the determination of the touch section to: determine a user command; and send to a controllable device a control command corresponding to the user command.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the vibration sensors comprise at least one piezo-electric sensor.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the vibration sensors comprise at least one microphone.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the vibration sensors are fixed to a rim of the steering wheel.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the vibration sensors are positioned so that vibration from each different section of the steering wheel produces a unique combination of vibration information produced by the vibration sensors.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the controller is further configured to perform adaptive filtering to compensate for noise caused by normal vibrations that are carried by the steering column to the steering wheel.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the sections are defined relative to the orientation of the steering wheel.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the sections are defined relative to a reference selected from a group consisting of: the body of a vehicle to which the steering wheel is installed; and gravitational field.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the controller is further configured to determine tapping of the steering wheel and the touch section based on time difference of arrival as measured by different ones of the vibration sensors.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the control command comprises one or more of the following: select next song or channel; select previous song or channel; fast forward; fast backward; volume up; volume down; mute; release mute; answer phone; end call; select audio source; increase heating; decrease heating; activate navigation; deactivate navigation; select navigation target; show current location; turn on spoken feedback; turn off spoken feedback; switch on traffic announcements; switch off traffic announcements; and query currently effective traffic speed limits and/or parking rules. 






 Via : Engadget

Source: USPTO
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