Another new batch of patents have been granted to Apple - 35 to be exact - but there's one in particular that's caught our eye.

The "Electronic device housing as acoustic input device" patent, issued by those great people over at the USPTO, details a technology that would let us interact through taps, scratches and other actions we're not used to using on our iDevices.

The microprocessor will interpret the type of input, picked up by the transducers or microphones, and turn it into a function.

iThump

It's essentially turning the device - iPhone or iPad probably, though notebooks are also referenced - into one massive input slab.

Of course, this isn't anything groundbreaking, but it would be nice to do things like adjusting the volume by rolling a finger down the side of our tablets. Buttons are so yesterday.

The original patent surfaced back in 2011, but now this technology has been granted to Cupertino it can go ahead and implement it as it wishes. That said, the usual caveat applies – don't take this as any sort of confirmation of what's coming.

Via Patently Apple