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Nokia patent filing uses steering wheel touch for media controls, turns your radio on with that lovin' feeling


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Nokia has only ever had a fleeting involvement with cars, but if it brings a just-published patent application to fruition, the Lumia maker could be front and center for drivers. The technology it wants would detect vibrations in the steering wheel to let the driver control music, GPS and other components of the car's center stack just by touching particular spots on the wheel itself -- no overabundance of buttons here. Underneath, it would use temporal sensing to register input, and filtering would prevent the wheel from interpreting speed bumps as cues to turn on the stereo. Nokia's mobile know-how mostly comes into play through the option of using a mobile device like a smartphone to handle tasks rather than having to build something directly into the wheel. Given that the company is currently cutting everything back, it's more likely to license the patent out rather than trying to build anything itself, if anything happens at all. Should the patent eventually come to use, you could end up tenderly caressing the wheel for all your in-car media controls... just be sure to buy it some chocolate and roses first.

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