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Apple employees file for wide touchpad patent

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Several Apple employees have collectively filed a patent request for a wide touchpad on a noteboook computer, where the palm rest areas of the portable would formed a said touchpad.

In the filing made on August 25, 2004 and published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, Apple employees describe several examples of a "wide touchpad and keyboard" that would allow a user to interact with the display screen and enter data.

One description says the wide touchpad may be a cursor control device having the capabilities of conventional computer mouse, 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 wide touchpad extends into the areas on the surface of the base assembly that are normally reserved for palm rest areas," the filing says. "In one embodiment, the touchpad possesses the ability to reject accidental contact when a user does not intend to activate the touchpad."

In another example, a sensor is disposed near the touchpad and keyboard of the portable computer to sense hand location of a user, and subsequently determine whether the touchpad contact is intentional or accidental.

"The touchpad responds properly by either recognizing the action on the touchpad or rejecting the action," the filing says. "As a result, the user is able to work efficiently, allowing for typing and cursor control operations to occur seamlessly."

Yet another example describes the touchpad as consisting of a two dimensional surface sensor that can detect one or more objects on the touchpad surface, and output information regarding the location, width, presence, and number of said objects, in a manner that can be interpreted by the computer system to generate cursor movement, or otherwise interpret a user's either intentional or unintentional input. Such an touchpad device may utilize capacitive sensing, the filing says.

"The surface of the touchpad may include a grid of conductive metal wires covered by an insulator. When two electrically conductive objects come near each other without touching, their electric fields interact to form capacitance. Also, when another conductive material, such as a human finger, comes in contact with the touchpad surface, a capacitance forms."

Wide Touchpad Patent Illustrations

The patent filing -- which is credited to several known Apple employees such as Bas Ording and Bartley Andre -- goes on to list dozens of possible behaviors for a wide touchpad, including a device that would support "multiple or two-handed input."
post #2 of 17
An Apple patent appeared YEARS ago (like pre-2000 I'm thinking) showing a wide touchpad that covered the whole wrist-rest. Seems like there's some overlap wth this. (Needless to say that old patent was never used in a product.)

That one showed a central area used for the cursor, and showed other ways to use the whole thing--like signing a document by signing the wrist rest on the right. There were things about triggering top menus and other functions too I seem to recall. Maybe something about fingers triggering the central area, but only a stylus could trigger the whole surface?

If anyone has a link to those old images I'll be impressed

(And where do they get the tree frogs that are always shown in the drawings using the products?)
post #3 of 17
Ooooo.

This is the MBP I'll be waiting for.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes
This is the MBP I'll be waiting for.

Ditto; and given the time it took Apple to start making the iSight MBP after AppleInsider reported that patent, we could be seeing wide touchpads as soon as next year. Yes, I know, I am of the olympic hopefuls.
post #5 of 17
Though not quite the same, there was a pad made by http://www.fingerworks.com/ that allowed you to make gestures with your hand to input... almost bought one a couple of years ago but couldn't afford it at the time.

Why the look of a notebook in the file drawings? This is more for a tablet.

The tree frogs are actually my hands. They pay me royally for the priviledge.

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #6 of 17
This is so Apple.........small steps, very gradual, very human!


Check this!

fireant.tv/directory/episode/1045497?



Fucking link wont work!!!!!!!!! FUCK!!!!!!
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #7 of 17
Remember that MANY Apple patents NEVER become shipping products. This sounds like one that may well never see the light.

PS - Here's that link (just paste a link into your post with the http part and you don't even need URL tags):

http://fireant.tv/directory/episode/1045497?
post #8 of 17
Fingerworks has ceased as a business.

Maybe Apple bought 'em out.
post #9 of 17
I think this is just a patent for the current Scrolling Trackpad - nothing more, nothing less.
c l o n e n o d e
o n e o f m a n y
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c l o n e n o d e
o n e o f m a n y
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post #10 of 17
Apple is definitely up to something with all these touchpad patents. All I know is they sure love to draw freaky looking hands.

     197619842013  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

MacBook Pro Retina, 13", 2.5 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD

iPhone 5 • iPad 4 • CR48 Chromebook • ThinkPad X220

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     197619842013  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

MacBook Pro Retina, 13", 2.5 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD

iPhone 5 • iPad 4 • CR48 Chromebook • ThinkPad X220

Reply
post #11 of 17
i'd like to see circular tracking pads
a la ipod click wheel
to either side of the mouse tracking pad
universal programmability
default // document scrolling

and
bring back the ipod 3g four button array
above each click wheel
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by Bergermeister
Though not quite the same, there was a pad made by http://www.fingerworks.com/ that allowed you to make gestures with your hand to input... almost bought one a couple of years ago but couldn't afford it at the time.

Why the look of a notebook in the file drawings? This is more for a tablet.

The tree frogs are actually my hands. They pay me royally for the priviledge.

You poor thing!
post #13 of 17
A wide touchpad might be pretty cool if it can be flexibly adapted to the user's needs. I think that Fingerworks company is probably only showing a small portion of the idea's potential. I'm thinking music keyboard, audio mixer control and such.
post #14 of 17
it will be an invisible touchpad with only a small graphical indication of where it is.

Apple is a stickler for aesthetics and a minimalist style. An unnoticeable trackpad seems somewaht obvious, probably using the same technology as the iPod scroll wheel and Mighty Mouse.
post #15 of 17
I found an image of the much-earlier patent (maybe 2001?) that relates to this:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...7&postcount=10
post #16 of 17
This would be a DREAM for Logic Pro! Moving faders, knobs, manipulating the arrange window would be opened right up! As it'd be supported Apple hardware, they would write it into Logic as a control surface or direct input, and would be too good!

Hopefully, if this does come to fruition, they'll also make some kind of touchpad for desktop systems too. Not new tech, but if it's Apple making it, they'll directly support it.

Ahhh, the future!
post #17 of 17
A better explanation is found here: http://www.macsimumnews.com/index.php/archive/11145/

And this is also very interesting: http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/~rdivecha...rld_of_sm.html
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