Apple is eyeing a better way to play on its toys.
Dubbed "Clickable and tactile buttons for a touch surface," a patent published Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office envisions a gamepad and joystick for iOS devices.
The patent describes accessories that simply stick on the touchscreen of an iPad display and engage the touch-sensitive areas with buttons and a joystick-like device. The buttons can buckle and activate touch areas underlying them with attachment structures.
The idea is to make the devices more comfortable and responsive for players. Without accessories like the one described, players hover fingers over a touchscreen, which can lead to accidental activations on the screen and -- the humanity! -- cause a user's hand and finger to become fatigued.
It would also make the developers happy, with better tactile capabilities to build upon.
The patent casts a wide net for the application of the patent, saying it could be relevant for ATMs or point-of-sale payment devices as well as gaming, but the diagrams look pretty familiar to anyone who's ever played Centipede.
The patent was originally filed almost five years ago, in the third quarter of 2008.