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MacRumors
Aug 9, 2007, 09:27 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Apple filed for a continuation on a 2004 patent (http://www.macrumors.com/2006/03/02/wide-touchpad-patents-from-apple/) about a "wide touchpad" for a laptop.


http://images.macrumors.com/article/2007/08/09/touchpad_300.png


The patent application, however, now gets an interesting perspective with the recent interest in multi-touch technology and the Multitouch dictionary (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/08/02/apple-exploring-multitouch-interface-gestures/) described last week.

Apple notes in the patent application that as notebook screens become larger, there tends to be a larger space on the bottom half of the housing. Typically the trackpad is placed in the center to avoid unintentional taps and to provide space for palm rests.

They propose implementing an enlarged or wide touchpad which "may be a cursor control device having the capabilities of conventional computer mouse devices, such as the ability to point, drag, tap, and double tap objects on a graphical user interface, as well as more general purposes such as scrolling, panning, zooming, and rotating images on display screen."

The touchpad would be located in the area normally reserved for the palm rests and be intelligent enough to ignore unintentional contact (when being used as a palm rest).

Fingerworks (http://www.fingerworks.com), the multi-touch company that Apple bought in 2005, offered several multi-touch gesture pads and input devices before they ceased operations.

When questioned (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/08/07/notes-of-interest-from-q-a/) about the possibility of a multi-touch Mac, Jobs replied that it "doesn't make a lot of sense right now on the Mac" and they'd classify it as a "research project".




Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/08/09/wide-multitouch-touchpad-for-apple-laptops/)



lexus
Aug 9, 2007, 09:28 AM
That would be very nice.

PlaceofDis
Aug 9, 2007, 09:30 AM
makes sense. and could be incorporated into a keyboard design too methinks.

mainstreetmark
Aug 9, 2007, 09:31 AM
well, at least they didn't waste too much money on an artist to sketch that up.

syklee26
Aug 9, 2007, 09:32 AM
i would have arthritis all over my hands and wrist using that. you have to hold your hand high to type on that thing.

what Apple should do is to use swivel style monitor with multitouch or something like that. (of course it is called tablet notebook)

megfilmworks
Aug 9, 2007, 09:32 AM
Much better than a trackpad

zombitronic
Aug 9, 2007, 09:37 AM
With all these touch patents, they must be really into their "research project." Can't wait 'till MWSF '08.

imac/cheese
Aug 9, 2007, 09:43 AM
well, at least they didn't waste too much money on an artist to sketch that up.

I was thinking the exact same thing. What is up with the sketch?

juanm
Aug 9, 2007, 09:46 AM
i would have arthritis all over my hands and wrist using that. you have to hold your hand high to type on that thing.

From the article:
"The touchpad would be located in the area normally reserved for the palm rests and be intelligent enough to ignore unintentional contact (when being used as a palm rest)"

psychofreak
Aug 9, 2007, 09:47 AM
i would have arthritis all over my hands and wrist using that. you have to hold your hand high to type on that thing.

what Apple should do is to use swivel style monitor with multitouch or something like that. (of course it is called tablet notebook)
Erm...
The touchpad would [...] be intelligent enough to ignore unintentional contact (when being used as a palm rest).

johnee
Aug 9, 2007, 09:51 AM
well, at least they didn't waste too much money on an artist to sketch that up.

Are you kidding me? that drawing cost a fortune since it's part of a patent.
there are designers which specialize in patent drawings and charge a lot of money.

samh004
Aug 9, 2007, 10:07 AM
I'm not sure, while that is a very good idea and holds a lot of potential, it would look weird. I would have to take time to get used to it I think.

(of course it is called tablet notebook)

Where in "tablet notebook" is "mac" ?

Fabio_gsilva
Aug 9, 2007, 10:08 AM
I feel it is an amazing upgrade to all apple laptops, when implemented.

This will shift the way everybody interact with laptops soon, and I woul jump in the boat as soon as possible!!!:apple:

PDE
Aug 9, 2007, 10:12 AM
From the article:
"The touchpad would be located in the area normally reserved for the palm rests and be intelligent enough to ignore unintentional contact (when being used as a palm rest)"

I used to own one of fingerwork's touchstream keyboards which allows all input gestures on the same space as the keyboard. It works very well since the keyboard recognises fingers vs. palms. Using a keyboard without keys was something that took getting used to (mainly because I like to pound my keys and pounding on a flat surface hurts), but once you get a hang of it, it's very fluid and comfortable. I doubt it's something that Apple would use on a portable though. Using the entire space as a multitouch surface would be amazing! I can't wait!

fastbite
Aug 9, 2007, 10:15 AM
It would be great. Touch screen for the iMac or anything else seems silly to me, your arms would get tired etc -- but on a laptop, it makes total sense.

Darkroom
Aug 9, 2007, 10:16 AM
When questioned about the possibility of a multi-touch Mac, Jobs replied that it "doesn't make a lot of sense right now on the Mac" and they'd classify it as a "research project".

i'm sure jobs was referring to multi-touch displays... but apple's notebook line of computers already has gestures built in to the trackpad with 2 fingers to scroll, so i'm assuming they will add additional gestures into the trackpad.

DOUGHNUT
Aug 9, 2007, 10:34 AM
Also, Apple could easily release an add-on external trackpad like device (instead of using a mouse) that can enable gesture control for iMacs and Mac Pros (as well as older Mac notebooks), so that is always an option. Unless used in a "MacTablet", having multi-touch on the screen won't make any sense.

PDE
Aug 9, 2007, 10:37 AM
This is what I have. I'm sure Apple could improve on the design! In fact, Fingerworks had a really nice design that they were planning to release (I think it was with aluminum actually), when they were abruptly bought up by Apple and all their products discontinued.

thejadedmonkey
Aug 9, 2007, 10:38 AM
Did anyone else notice that the mouse button in the picture actually has 2 buttons?

Clive At Five
Aug 9, 2007, 10:41 AM
i'm sure jobs was referring to multi-touch displays... but apple's notebook line of computers already has gestures built in to the trackpad with 2 fingers to scroll, so i'm assuming they will add additional gestures into the trackpad.

Thank you SOMEONE for remembering this. Let me reiterate a little louder so that everyone see this:

APPLE'S CURRENT TRACKPADS ARE ALREADY "MULTITOUCH!"

This patent is basically describing a wide trackpad.

Although, it would only take a software (maybe firmware?) update to add other gestures to the mix.

-Clive

~Shard~
Aug 9, 2007, 10:43 AM
Cool to see, but not that surprising really. Mutli-touch will be the input method of the future, it's just a matter of time. As Jobs said though, it's just not a feasible solution right now for an entire machine. You can rest assured it's in the works though and in Apple's labs. ;) :cool:

samh004
Aug 9, 2007, 10:59 AM
Did anyone else notice that the mouse button in the picture actually has 2 buttons?

Your right.

The screen also has a full width hinge, you know what that means ;)

miketcool
Aug 9, 2007, 11:03 AM
Your right.

The screen also has a full width hinge, you know what that means ;)

PBG5 on Tues!

Proxy sensors R cool, thanks internetPHONE!

Maccus Aurelius
Aug 9, 2007, 11:08 AM
Built-in Wacom clone for Macbook Pros!

*throws bottle of Scotch in trash*

e12a
Aug 9, 2007, 11:17 AM
the question is, do i have to keep lifting my wrists to use it as a mouse? or can i keep one wrist rested while the other uses the trackpad...

Maccus Aurelius
Aug 9, 2007, 11:34 AM
I mainly use my thumb to use the trackpad as I don't often lift my hand entirely from the keyboard. I'd like to see if this gizmo can disregard the base of my palms while my thumb glides along the center. If it disregards large contacts, I would imagine that it should.

JPark
Aug 9, 2007, 11:58 AM
well, at least they didn't waste too much money on an artist to sketch that up.

You mean the crooked lines and screwy perspective aren't part of the patent? I figured this was their new Macbook Picasso Edition. :)

Raidersmojo
Aug 9, 2007, 12:25 PM
you make a touch screen laptop with OS X and I'll give you my money.

I already love touch screen or multi-touch on my iphone and can't wait to have it on one of my computers.

apples comes out with something like this and I'll be one of the first in line

EagerDragon
Aug 9, 2007, 12:28 PM
Did anyone else notice that the mouse button in the picture actually has 2 buttons?

Your right.

The screen also has a full width hinge, you know what that means ;)

The Artist (if you can call it that) probably is a PC laptop user, LOL.

I think this is cool and woul;d welcome it.

However I wonder if it would pass the "obviousness" test. There are multitouch pattents out there, the tablet patents are out there, the trackpad is out there, the multitouch index patent is out there. All of those point to a lot of previous art and this is just an enlargement of the surface with the capabilities of all the other patents on top.

Sounds obvious to me.

the question is, do i have to keep lifting my wrists to use it as a mouse? or can i keep one wrist rested while the other uses the trackpad...

Depends how many arms you have. The more the easier. 3 would be perfect

aswitcher
Aug 9, 2007, 12:40 PM
If there are indeed a long track pads then just maybe its like the iPhone, acting as track pad and displaying at the same time... I would buy that!

Maccus Aurelius
Aug 9, 2007, 12:53 PM
I just hope Sony doesn't sue Apple for using a cubist rendition of a Viao notebook in their patent.

Black Belt
Aug 9, 2007, 01:24 PM
The Artist (if you can call it that) probably is a PC laptop user, LOL.

Sorry, definitely done on a Mac. It smacks of the old Newton logos.

KingofAwesome
Aug 9, 2007, 01:26 PM
I bet that wide touchpad would be even more functional if it was a little LCD... you could put the dock in it, iPhoto controls, video playback controls, timelines, and so on. Someday...

digitalbiker
Aug 9, 2007, 01:29 PM
It still seems like a big waste of space. Gestures are meant to be confined to a small area. The macbooks standard trackpad size is large enough. Why make it so wide?

I think a better use of space would be for seperate arrow and number keypads with an expansion of the standard keyboard. This combined with a multitouch gesture trackpad would provide a lot of flexibility of use.

superspiffy
Aug 9, 2007, 01:41 PM
It still seems like a big waste of space. Gestures are meant to be confined to a small area. The macbooks standard trackpad size is large enough. Why make it so wide?


True. Why elongate the trackpad from left to right? Wouldn't it therefore take you longer to scroll from one side of the screen to the other when you've got wider space to travel? So what can this new wide trackpad do that the current one can't?

EagerDragon
Aug 9, 2007, 01:45 PM
True. Why elongate the trackpad from left to right? Wouldn't it therefore take you longer to scroll from one side of the screen to the other when you've got wider space to travel? So what can this new wide trackpad do that the current one can't?

Finer control.

superspiffy
Aug 9, 2007, 01:51 PM
Finer control.

There's sensitivity settings for that.

offwidafairies
Aug 9, 2007, 02:25 PM
Where in "tablet notebook" is "mac" ?

the mactab or the tabmac

Mysrt
Aug 9, 2007, 02:30 PM
why is item 200 just pointing into blank space?

Maccus Aurelius
Aug 9, 2007, 03:13 PM
why is item 200 just pointing into blank space?

Duh, the cubist rendition of course.

acslater017
Aug 9, 2007, 03:43 PM
why is item 200 just pointing into blank space?

haha i hadn't noticed...maybe there's some sort of sensor that reads your gestures above the computer? it's probably a "TOP SECRET" feature that they'll reveal 6 months after the initial sneak peek

twoodcc
Aug 9, 2007, 03:52 PM
seems nice. i guess it would only be on the larger laptops?

iMichael72
Aug 9, 2007, 04:18 PM
Interesting idea. I wonder what size it would be?

Maccus Aurelius
Aug 9, 2007, 04:48 PM
I guess we have to consider the possibility that Apple never actually uses this design, or the possibility that Apple dumps the keyboard altogether and uses a giant touch surface :eek:

StuPidQPid
Aug 9, 2007, 05:11 PM
I mentioned this in another forum, but why couldn't a laptop have two screens?
A main output screen as it is now, and a full keyboard sized iPhone-like touch screen input replacing the keyboard (a bit like the TouchStream from Fingerworks, but with an actual screen). It would involve true "touch typing" - probably not to the liking of some, but the applications would be endless. The screen would be infinitely customizable for whatever input you need and would get rid of the need for a touch pad altogether. Would obviously be a bit more expensive than a normal keyboard, but likely not that much given that a smaller touch screen is included in the iPhone.

mongoos150
Aug 9, 2007, 05:15 PM
I was thinking the exact same thing. What is up with the sketch?They purposely draw the sketch to be the least-revealing it can be. If Apple submitted accurate, detailed sketches, we'd all know what the new device would look like. They put two buttons on the mouse, a fat hinge, etc...

Draythor
Aug 9, 2007, 05:20 PM
I mentioned this in another forum, but why couldn't a laptop have two screens?
A main output screen as it is now, and a full keyboard sized iPhone-like touch screen input replacing the keyboard (a bit like the TouchStream from Fingerworks, but with an actual screen). It would involve true "touch typing" - probably not to the liking of some, but the applications would be endless. The screen would be infinitely customizable for whatever input you need and would get rid of the need for a touch pad altogether. Would obviously be a bit more expensive than a normal keyboard, but likely not that much given that a smaller touch screen is included in the iPhone.

Nice to find a like minded person!
I agree. Basically the touchpad would adapt to the application. AKA one massive Nintendo DS...:p

StuPidQPid
Aug 9, 2007, 05:30 PM
Nice to find a like minded person!
I agree. Basically the touchpad would adapt to the application. AKA one massive Nintendo DS...:p

Oh yes, I forgot about the Nintendo DS! - but done in a more cool Apple-like way...

itcomesinwaves
Aug 9, 2007, 06:37 PM
After playing around with iLife '08 I'm convinced that Apple is developing a (multi) touch computer. Specifically the feature in iPhoto and iMovie that let you scrub a clip or 'event' by moving your mouse horizontally over it.

Football1maniac
Aug 9, 2007, 10:10 PM
I mentioned this in another forum, but why couldn't a laptop have two screens?
A main output screen as it is now, and a full keyboard sized iPhone-like touch screen input replacing the keyboard (a bit like the TouchStream from Fingerworks, but with an actual screen). It would involve true "touch typing" - probably not to the liking of some, but the applications would be endless. The screen would be infinitely customizable for whatever input you need and would get rid of the need for a touch pad altogether. Would obviously be a bit more expensive than a normal keyboard, but likely not that much given that a smaller touch screen is included in the iPhone.

That would be a practical way that this technology could evolve to. But what ever happen if for some reason, the bottom part of the computer (the touch-sensitive part) gets damaged or short-circuited? Knowing with this technology, Apple will pull a "We'll charge you $99.00 and $10.00 shipping and handling to fix it for you" Just like the iPod/iPhone batteries.

MrGouda
Aug 9, 2007, 11:14 PM
Nice to find a like minded person!
I agree. Basically the touchpad would adapt to the application. AKA one massive Nintendo DS...:p

That'd be totally sweet! I'd buy that! They could call it the macBook DS.

megfilmworks
Aug 9, 2007, 11:16 PM
After playing around with iLife '08 I'm convinced that Apple is developing a (multi) touch computer. Specifically the feature in iPhoto and iMovie that let you scrub a clip or 'event' by moving your mouse horizontally over it.

That's a really good point. That motion seems awkward with a mouse but would be natural with a touch screen or pad.

finchna
Aug 10, 2007, 07:44 AM
This is a silly idea for several reasons the biggest of which is that the current trackpad can't even ignore unintentional touch. perfect that first or have your cursor dancing all over the place.

Yankees 4 Life
Aug 10, 2007, 07:51 AM
why is item 200 just pointing into blank space?

they are trying to patent air

mynameismatt89
Aug 10, 2007, 11:08 AM
I remember someone saying how they would like to see apple incorporate the touchscreen into their desktops or laptops. Then i saw this this morning and thought it might be of interest:

http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=0665000FS10090809&catid=10607

sartinsauce
Aug 10, 2007, 02:17 PM
After playing around with iLife '08 I'm convinced that Apple is developing a (multi) touch computer. Specifically the feature in iPhoto and iMovie that let you scrub a clip or 'event' by moving your mouse horizontally over it.

The thing is, "scrubbing" a clip is a feature used in all professional video editing software. Just the fact that you used the word "scrub" suggests you know that.

I haven't used iLife '08 yet, but I wouldn't think that the inclusion of professional level features necessarily indicates that a multi-touch device is coming for Macs.

aswitcher
Aug 12, 2007, 06:43 AM
The thing is, "scrubbing" a clip is a feature used in all professional video editing software. Just the fact that you used the word "scrub" suggests you know that.

I haven't used iLife '08 yet, but I wouldn't think that the inclusion of professional level features necessarily indicates that a multi-touch device is coming for Macs.

I really hope so. I look forward to Apple innovating with touch technology. If they wont give us touch screens, then sophisticated touch pads would seem like a good alternative.

Steel and Glass!