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Future MacBook trackpads, Magic Trackpads may sport Touch Bar-like features

Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,585,494) for “auxiliary text display integrated into a keyboard device that hints at future Mac laptops with trackpads that implement more Touch Bar-like features. It also suggests a future Magic Trackpad for desktops with such features.

The Touch Bar at the top of the keyboard on your MacBook Pro adapts to what you’re doing and gives you intuitive shortcuts and app controls when you need them. The Touch Bar on MacBook Pro gives you quick access to commands on your Mac, and changes automatically based on what you’re doing and which apps you’re using. Some folks (like me) love it; others not so much.

In the patent info, Apple says that users may be somewhat limited in their productivity while operating a computer, particularly when entering data through a keyboard. The tech giant says that, however, few advances have been made in recent years to improve typing efficiency for users operating desktops and laptop computers. Apple says that “an improved keyboard design is needed in order to increase efficiency and improve the user experience when typing on desktop and laptop computers.”

The company’s idea seems to be to have the primary visual information rendered on the main display (the Mac’s screen) and secondary visual information to be rendered on the auxiliary display (the Touch Bar and trackpad). 

Here’s the summary of the invention: “A device with an enhanced keyboard is disclosed. One embodiment may take the form of a laptop computer with an auxiliary display embedded within a lower portion of the computer. A further embodiment of the auxiliary display renders contextual information based on information on a main computer display and inputs received from an input device such as a set of keys, mouse, or trackpad.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.