Apple patent eyes dual-sided trackpad for MacBook

A newly awarded patent describes a touch-sensitive trackpad panel that could replace a traditional trackpad on a MacBook or other device.

Apple/USPTO

Your MacBook of the future could offer a dual-sided trackpad panel that features a touch screen on both sides.

Awarded to Apple on Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, a patent appropriatedly dubbed "Dual-sided track pad," describes a transparent and foldable trackpad panel with both a top and bottom display. The panel itself would take up the entire bottom of the notebook. Each side of the panel would recognize touch input and react accordingly based on whether the notebook is open or closed.

On an open notebook, one side of the trackpad would be accessible. On a closed notebook, the other side would be accessible. And since the panel itself is transparent, you could see the entire screen. As such, you'd be able to run a specific task, such as accessing your e-mail via the touch of your fingers.

You would also have the option of disabling the bottom panel display so that it doesn't eat up battery life when it's not needed.

(Via PatentlyApple)

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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