Secrets of the iPod’s Scroll Wheel Technology [pics]

iPod's Click wheel Patent Diagram

There are many reasons to like the iPod, like the ability to carry thousands of songs in your pocket. But for many users, the scroll wheel takes the cake. The iPod’s clickable scroll wheel is just pure genius. There’s never been a better one-finger user interface for negotiating massive libraries of portable content.

Secrets of the iPod's Scroll Wheel Technology

For all of you Apple history buffs, the iPod’s scroll wheel has been through 3 iterations since the 1G iPod was released in 2001. The first one actually rotated; then there was the touch-sensitive one; and finally there’s the clickable one found on the iPod Mini and fourth-generation iPod.

Most people assume that the scroll wheel was designed by the folks at Apple Computer’s labs. However, a company called Synaptics, which primarily makes touchpads for laptops, actually perfected this little piece of navigational heaven. You can learn more about the company on Synaptics.com, but here’s a little interesting piece of trivia from their website: More than 900 million devices include Synaptics interfaces.


Secrets of the iPod's Scroll Wheel Technology