We suppose it was only a matter of time before Apple finally did something of the sort, so we aren't really all that shocked about the newest patent filing.
What we are looking at here is a dual-analog controller not really different from the ones used by Xbox 360 or Sony PS2.
It actually resembles Sony's DualShock and has four shoulder buttons, four face buttons, a pair of analog sticks and what are probably Start and Select buttons.
The documents published on Shacknews
suggest that the controller is supposed to be used in Apple TV and other iOS devices.
We are tempted to think that iPhones won't have much use for it, but a diagram shows the controls communicating with one. Apple seems to be considering the controller as a means to turn the iPhone into a universal remote actually.
We can't say for sure if anything will come of this project, but Apple probably won't let it disappear without a fight.