Apple granted patent for even larger MacBook trackpads

As if the trackpads on MacBook Pro were not large enough already, Apple has been granted a new patent that shows the company’s intentions to make it even larger. The patent could potentially create the right and left areas of the trackpad on MacBook Pros into gesture-sensitive surfaces.

MacBook pro trackpad patent

Future MacBook Pro could have a trackpad that extends across the complete palm rest area

As found by Apple Insider, the patent is titled “Systems, methods, and computer-readable media for handling user input gestures on an extended trackpad of an electronic device are provided” and Apple’s description is as follows:

Some electronic device input systems include both a keyboard and a trackpad. However, both often contribute to a dimension of the input system that can limit the portability of the electronic device.

This means that the surface of a MacBook Pro, which is currently used as a palm rest, could potentially be used to recognize input. The surface will not be always touch-sensitive and could be activated based on specific gestures, to avoid accidental input.

Similar to a trackpad, this surface could also detect force touch gestures, which require additional pressure. The patent notes that the extended trackpad surface would also be able to detect whether the user input was done by a finger or a thumb and respond accordingly. This could open the trackpad to new enhanced gestures which are not possible with current trackpads that lack any such detection.

Apple often files patents for such inventions but it does not necessarily mean that they always see the light of the day. Check out our previous coverage of MacBook-related patents, most of which are related to new types of input mechanisms such as virtual keyboard, solid-state keyboard, haptic feedback, and more.

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