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Apple seeks patent on MacBook trackpad power chords

Future MacBooks could take commands from unique combinations of fingertips, if technology contained in a recent Apple patent application comes to light.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.
Tom Krazit

Apple could be readying a notebook trackpad that lets you practice your Rock Band form while using your Mac.

A patent application unearthed by MacRumors.com seeks protection for multitouch technology similar to that introduced by Apple on the MacBook Air's trackpad. This time, however, MacBook users could use as many as four fingers positioned in "chords" to execute different tasks in Mac OS X, such as bringing all the application windows to the front or opening up the Dashboard.

A new Apple patent could bring new multitouch trackpad features to future Macs. MacRumors.com

This could even be extended to individual tasks within applications, such as cut and paste. Those were the examples provided in the patent application, but it wouldn't be hard to imagine extending this to things like a browser, such as opening a link in a new tab or performing different tasks within iTunes.

A word of warning, as always, about patent applications: there's no guarantee that this technology will make it into a shipping product, or if it does, whether that will be out anytime soon. Still, it's clear that Apple has made developing advanced multitouch input methods a priority, as it continues to evolve the way people interact with their Macs and iPhones.