Los Angeles – A recently filed patent provides a snapshot of what might be on the horizon for Apple’s next generation of devices. The new technology, which is referenced in a patent that was granted last week, surrounds the sensors features in the touch pads of Apple products. The patent is exciting news for the multitude of Apple fans eagerly awaiting the next line of MacBook devices, which have been the subject of less patent filings when compared to Apple’s other devices like the iPad and iPhone.
The patent, entitled, “Touch pad with force sensors and actuator feedback,” was filed by the Cupertino-based company by a team of eight inventors. The filing details new plans for a track pad with an added actuator feature, which users touch to activate “force sensors.” This differs from the current track pad included in MacBook devices, which are known as “all-in-one” designs, that are essentially one large button.
The all-in-one design that Apple has used in its laptop devices for years have been the subject of complaints, the biggest being the amount of pressure needed to click and activate the inner switch. This problem is even more pronounced when users try to click the track pad close to the edge, where the hinges lie underneath. While the simple appearance of the all-in-one design has added to Apple’s theme of compact sleekness, it seems that the company is finally looking to heed user complaints and make some changes its touchpad.
Specifically, the technology outlined in the new patent looks to alleviate the track pad pressure problem by implementing four sensors, rather than one, which will be situated under the four corners of the pad. Offering an even bigger change, the new sensors will be updated “force sensors” that do not even have to move to be activated, but can respond to the vibration of human touch. Thus, with the new track pad, users might not have to press a button of any sort, but can simply tap the surface to click. After detailing this new possible “button less” track pad technology, the patent goes on to describe how the new computers will have customizable settings so that users can select their desired level of touch sensitivity. After all, the concept of not pushing down to click may take some getting used to for many of us.