Apple exploring 'invisible,' disappearing buttons for future MacBooks

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 32
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    Oh lord. Apple are good at making controls disappear, but not very good at helping us find out where they went.
  • Reply 22 of 32
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    ...it doesn't look like that is the case.



  • Reply 23 of 32
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post






    You like double entrendres, eh? Then you may like the comment about the following movie...
    Quote:

    If you like horror movies and ass-to-mouth then Human Centipede just might be your taste and right up your alley.



  • Reply 24 of 32
    Micro-perforations are a nice idea, but would quickly clog with use. They're good for display, but not interaction.



    On another vein, why the sleep light wasn't incorporated into the remote sensor I'll never know - other than that the coolness factor won out over design sense and simplicity. That would seem to be more PCish than Applesque.



    Why wasn't the IR remote pickup put behind the shell with the sleep-light? I don't think an infrared sensor would work as well behind a mesh of invisible holes, as its wavelength is longer than visible light. Having it behind a plastic window is most likely a design necessity.
  • Reply 25 of 32
    bc kellybc kelly Posts: 148member
    .



    One day maybe not too far away



    In a Galaxy maybe close to Home



    .



    "Computer"



    "Yes Mr Jobs, what can I do for you?"



    "Play us the film Star Trek with all that Futuristic Technology"



    "Yes Steve, no problem"



    .



    And even if Apple is not the one to take us there



    Will be some other who knows how to Think Different



    .
  • Reply 26 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Does anyone even use a remote with their Macs? They already dropped it from the unibody plastic MacBooks..



    The remote is a wonderful tool when making presentations. Not having to walk over to the computer in order to press a button each time you need to change slides makes all the difference. As a teacher working a great deal with dramatized presentations (a combination of theatre and traditional lectures) it is especially important to be able to move around in the classroom freely and be able to change keynote slides from wherever I happen to stand at the moment. So, it mustn't necessarily be an IR remote, but I do need some way of remotely changing slides in keynote presentations.



    I also use the remote to remotely control iTunes from my bed when I'm waiting for sleep to sweep me away to the land of dreams and wonder (not to mention magic; probably a result of having read too many fantasy novels). Since I tend to listen to audio books, I want to stop the playback before falling asleep, as it can be quite a hazzle to try and find where I was when I dozed off the night before. But I don't want to get out of bed and walk over to the computer to pause iTunes. Granted, I could use iPhone, but the remote is better since I don't even need to open my eyes to use it. Furthermore, I can send my laptop to sleep with the remote after pausing iTunes!



    Cheers
  • Reply 27 of 32
    I've seen this (in plastic PC laptops) for play/pause, volume etc. It looked quite nice superficially.



    I don't think this patent has a lot to stand on, though.
  • Reply 28 of 32
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SuperMacGuy View Post


    STOP with invisible everything! Input areas should be visible. Apple's own 'software discoverability' concepts needs to apply to hardware. Apple's hardware could use a few more buttons and actual human interaction items. Not every input device should be invisible or only on a screen/flat surface. Humans interact with buttons more accurately than a flat piece of glass. Just ask a blind person how well they can text on an iPhone. Buttons are good for doing something on a device without having to look at it, like while running, walking, biking, dare I say driving (don't text and drive!!) or even being in the dark. If there is a button you can feel, you can use it without looking at the device. If you've not used the device before, you can surmise that it's a control. If you don't see the control then you might not even know it's there.

    Ever try to control The Obelisk? See no buttons, no one knew how to turn it on.



    I think you have a point. Controls that needlessly disappear require that you make some movement first (say, wipe the surface) before you can even see the control. I think it's a good idea for full screen video playback, I've eventually gotten annoyed with any other use of disappearing controls.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aldonius View Post


    I've seen this (in plastic PC laptops) for play/pause, volume etc. It looked quite nice superficially.



    I don't think this patent has a lot to stand on, though.



    I have a Dell laptop that has it. Doing it in plastic is easy, in metal might be the part that's hard.
  • Reply 29 of 32
    The trackpad should be replaced with a touch sensitive lcd. With a lcd trackpad you could introduce all sorts of inputs. Even the much need number pad. When you're done, it goes away. The present trackpad also supports chinese handwriting input. An lcd would improve things along.
  • Reply 30 of 32
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,611moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SuperMacGuy View Post


    Not every input device should be invisible or only on a screen/flat surface.



    In some cases it would work well though. The iPod click wheel design is efficient for music and volume control and you can't realistically put an actual click-wheel on the device. Apple currently squeeze the controls onto the tiny function keys. Instead, they would free up at least F7-F12 with an etched click wheel.



    I think it's about time to get rd of the fn key and this is one way they can do it. You can control display brightness by sliding your finger up and down one edge of the display. Optical media will go eventually so no need for the eject key and Expose and Dashboard are covered by the trackpad.



    As long as it doesn't add to the cost, I'm ok with it.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SuperMacGuy View Post


    Humans interact with buttons more accurately than a flat piece of glass. Just ask a blind person how well they can text on an iPhone.



    Flat surfaces have big advantages though too as they can be adapted to far more input types. Blind people wouldn't benefit from an iPhone just now but it doesn't mean manufacturers should go back to buttons. It just means they need to use technology like piezoelectric feedback or even have the phone speak the button the user is hovering over and have a wireless ear-piece to let them hear it.
  • Reply 31 of 32
    webmailwebmail Posts: 639member
    The idea behind this is actually for the trackpad to act as a secondary display without an LCD. Basically the trackpad stays normal, unless you want it to be something else. I've peeked at prototypes.

















    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    In some cases it would work well though. The iPod click wheel design is efficient for music and volume control and you can't realistically put an actual click-wheel on the device. Apple currently squeeze the controls onto the tiny function keys. Instead, they would free up at least F7-F12 with an etched click wheel.



    I think it's about time to get rd of the fn key and this is one way they can do it. You can control display brightness by sliding your finger up and down one edge of the display. Optical media will go eventually so no need for the eject key and Expose and Dashboard are covered by the trackpad.



    As long as it doesn't add to the cost, I'm ok with it.







    Flat surfaces have big advantages though too as they can be adapted to far more input types. Blind people wouldn't benefit from an iPhone just now but it doesn't mean manufacturers should go back to buttons. It just means they need to use technology like piezoelectric feedback or even have the phone speak the button the user is hovering over and have a wireless ear-piece to let them hear it.



  • Reply 32 of 32
    pxt wrote: »
    Oh lord. Apple are good at making controls disappear, but not very good at helping us find out where they went.

    Totally agree. I love my new retina MBP, but where the hell did the power/sleep and battery status LED go ?? Really, it can't be much bigger than the tip of a matchstick, yet they removed it. With no DVD drive and spinning hard drive AND no battery indicator, there is no way to tell when the laptop is on or sleeping and how much battery life is left. For nearly 3000 dollars i was really expecting at least those features, especially when they can be totally invisible like in previous MBPs.

    The retina MBP reminds me of my first gen iPod Touch.. Absolutely stunning, but second gen will likely be much more thought out.
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