A customizable touch zone could replace the current trackpad on MacBooks.
The Californian firm has just obtained a new patent for a virtual touch surface that could equip the next MacBook Pro and Air. This virtual touch surface, described as a dynamic entry surface, would replace traditional trackpads. It could even be configured according to the needs and desires of the users.
In its patent filed with the USPTO, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Apple takes stock of the physical limitations of the keyboard and touchpad built into laptops, as well as external devices that are not found either thanks to the eyes of the american company. Apple also stresses the risk of failure of components increasing.
This is why the Cupertino company offers a new form of trackpad taking the form of a partially flexible metal area, integrating various sensors and permeable to light. This last point would allow the area to detect and recognize the movements of the fingers and therefore respond to the various commands carried out. The virtual trackpad could cover the window with the free area under the keyboard. This area could not be limited to computers or be a replacement for the traditional trackpad.
As always, the fact that Apple obtains protection for a technology does not mean that it may one day be found on a product of the brand, but it is still interesting to see what projects the firm is working on.