There's no guarantee that it will show up in the next iPod nano -- or any iPod nano at all, for that matter -- but a newly published patent application has now offered a few more hints about how Apple might make such a device even more wearable. Titled simply, "Environment Sensitive Display Tags," the patent application details how a small, wearable device could use a variety of sensors and inputs (including a camera, microphone, accelerometer -- even a thermometer) to obtain information about its surroundings and translate that into a visual element that's displayed on the screen. So, for instance, the camera could be used to create a background that matches your shirt or jacket, or the accelerometer could be used to make a screen saver react to your movements (like the rain drops illustrated above). All of which, the application suggests, could serve to make the device even more "aesthetically pleasing" as a "fashion accessory."
Incidentally, the patent application also noticeably features "Games" as a menu option in some of the illustrations -- which would be new to the current variety of iPod nano -- but there's no mention of it in the actual claims. And, given that it was filed back in November of 2009, the application's authors could well have simply been working on the assumption that games would simply carry over from the previous generation.