A recent US Patent Office patent filing from Apple shows a new futuristic iPhone design that features a "dual sided trackpad".

Essentially a smaller iPhone with all the controls but half the size, the handset would have a see-through cover with a capacitive, multi-touch trackpad.

The trackpad, attached to the phone via a hinge, would accept input on either side and different controls would be active depending on the pad's position, whether it was open or closed.

When open, the trackpad could provide a separate area for dialing numbers, scrolling or gesture controls.

Apple says the patent applies to "mobile telephones", other handhelds, and computers.

The other application for the "dual sided trackpad" could be as a Vista SideShow-esque functionality for MacBooks, with a shut notebook having an external interactive display for simple actions.