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Wide (Multitouch?) Touchpad for Apple Laptops

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple filed for a continuation on a 2004 patent about a "wide touchpad" for a laptop.





The patent application, however, now gets an interesting perspective with the recent interest in multi-touch technology and the Multitouch dictionary 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, the multi-touch company that Apple bought in 2005, offered several multi-touch gesture pads and input devices before they ceased operations.

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".




Article Link
 

syklee26

macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2005
421
438
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)
 
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zombitronic

macrumors 65816
Feb 9, 2007
1,115
6
With all these touch patents, they must be really into their "research project." Can't wait 'till MWSF '08.
 
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juanm

macrumors 68000
May 1, 2006
1,582
2,999
Fury 161
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)"
 
Comment

72930

Retired
May 16, 2006
9,060
4
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).
 
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samh004

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2004
2,218
115
Australia
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" ?
 
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Fabio_gsilva

macrumors 6502
Apr 14, 2005
335
55
São Paulo - Brasil
Ultracool!!! Again!

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:
 
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PDE

macrumors 68020
Nov 16, 2005
2,474
7
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!
 
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fastbite

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2007
682
0
London
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.
 
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Darkroom

Guest
Dec 15, 2006
2,445
0
Montréal, Canada
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.
 
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DOUGHNUT

macrumors regular
Jan 8, 2006
242
11
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.
 
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PDE

macrumors 68020
Nov 16, 2005
2,474
7
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.
 

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Clive At Five

macrumors 65816
May 26, 2004
1,438
0
St. Paul, MN
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
 
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~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
44
1123.6536.5321
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:
 
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e12a

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2006
1,881
0
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...
 
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