Apple may implement major construction changes in the next MacBook. New patents registered by the brand mention updated technology on the trackpad, which would not be limited to a rectangular area.
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According to the documentation, the solution would consist in distributing touch zones along the part just below the keyboard. In this way, any part of this surface can be used to control the cursor, among other functions. The proposal is similar to what Dell did on the XPS 13 Plus, but with an even larger area capable of recognizing the user’s touches and gestures.
With a structure composed of metallic materials and glass, the product would still support tactile responses to commands made on the trackpad. The solution may bring ideas similar to those seen in rumors related to the next iPhones, in which the power and volume buttons would be replaced by haptic surfaces.
This new MacBook design also aims to reduce the thickness of the notebook, which is achieved by placing the actuators more spread out.
Another patent related to Apple’s alleged plans had already been filed earlier. It is a technology that illuminates icons on the trackpad of notebooks, which enables a kind of “virtual dynamic trackpad”.
In practice, this means that the user could have more customization options with the trackpad, by delimiting it only to the area he wants, for example. It would also be possible to get a numeric keypad at opportune times, among other alternatives.
During CES 2022, LG presented a concept relatively similar to Gram Style. The Korean brand product has a “hidden” trackpad, with soft LED lighting at the bottom – being seen as an evolution of the idea presented by Dell.
It is not possible to say when (or if) the technologies described in the documents will actually be used in MacBooks. After all, in some cases, patent registration can also serve as an apparatus for competing brands not to copy technologies without proper authorization.