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 from various opaque or transparent materials such as metal, glass, organic or synthetic materials, etc. The user interface area of the trackpad can be a protective cover made of transparent glass, sapphire, or plastic, that rests over the device’s active display area.
As spotted by Patently Apple, Apple has filed for 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 designated cutout area for a traditional trackpad. The force input/haptic output interface for trackpads will do away with this slot.
As seen in the patent, the design will feature a side-to-side, full-coverage trackpad area with no borders. The patent adds that the opaque or transparent trackpad area will be covered by any protective transparent materials like glass, sapphire, plastic, etc.
A figure present in the patent shows localized flexible regions on the force input/haptic output trackpad interface, which will also include a haptic actuator that will assist in the thickness reduction of the device.
Apple recently also secured the patent for a multi-layered flip phone for future iPhone and iPad models. The patent covers a layer structure for curved, flexible, and foldable displays. A cover layer is supposed to protect the flexible display. This layer is composed of transparent support material and a hard coat layer.