Although not issued yet, Apple filed US patent application number 2007/0279394 A1 on September 11, 2006. What makes this application notable, however, in that it appears to cover a touch screen gaming application, real estate Apple has typically surrendered to Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony. It is not clear what type of hardware Apple envisions for this new system. From the looks of things, it seems geared toward touch screen hardware like the iPhone, iTouch or something entirely new.
According to the patent application itself, “the manner in which input is received (or entered) can be used to determine which application should receive the input. The input area can additionally resemble or approximate the shape of a scene (e.g., game scene) to allow a person to provide input in a more intuitive way.” So, depending upon where you touch the screen, or what you use to touch the screen, the application associates the action with one software application or the other.
As I have yet to hack my iPhone, here’s to Apple hitting the street with portable touch screen gaming sooner, rather than later.