Apple has filed a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a future MacBook prototype with an all-glass trackpad. The patent covers a side-to-side trackpad with a force input/haptic output interface in the trackpad area made of various opaque or transparent materials such as metal, glass, organic or synthetic materials, etc. The trackpad’s user interface area can have a protective shell of clear glass, sapphire, or plastic that rests over the active display area of the device.
As noted by Patently Apple, Apple has filed a patent for a force input/haptic output interface for future MacBook devices. This patent suggests a design change for future devices that will reduce the thickness of the MacBooks. Currently there is a special cut out area for a traditional trackpad. The force input/haptic output interface for trackpads makes this slot obsolete.
As shown in the patent, the design will have a full coverage trackpad area with no bezels. The patent adds that the opaque or transparent portion of the trackpad is covered by protective transparent materials such as glass, sapphire, plastic, etc.
A figure in the patent shows localized flexible areas on the trackpad interface for force input/haptic output, which will also include a haptic actuator that will help reduce the thickness of the device.
Apple also recently obtained the patent for a multi-layer flip phone for future iPhone and iPad models. The patent concerns a layer structure for curved, flexible and foldable displays. A cover layer must protect the flexible display. This layer is composed of transparent carrier material and a hard coating layer.
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