Apple files patent app for Illuminated touchpads

“On January 24, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple’s patent application titled Illuminated touchpad,” Neo reports for MacNN.

“Apple’s patent generally relates to touchpads that provide visual feedback. More particularly, the present invention relates to illuminated touchpads that use light to provide feedback. Apple’s current patent would strongly suggest that the iPod classic could likely take another leap forward in the future with an advanced touchpad that displays unique illumination attributes. Apple’s current patent also covers the very touchpad features that debuted in their new MacBook Air earlier this month at MacWorld,” Neo reports.

“The present invention pertains to improved feedback mechanisms for touchpads. One aspect relates to devices capable of illuminating the touch-sensitive surface of the touchpad,” Neo reports. “Another aspect relates to methods for providing visual feedback at the touch pad.”

Much more in the full article, including patent illustrations, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Masa” for the heads up.]


  1. > Apple’s current patent would strongly suggest that the iPod classic could likely take another leap forward in the future

    I doubt that the iPod “classic” will be leaping anywhere other than retirement. Apple will keep making them while there is demand, and maybe even increase capacity one more time. But the iPod with a hard drive is on the way out. However, a new Flash-based iPod with “illuminated touchpad” is certainly possible.

  2. If you offer an ipod that is uber thin, all flash based, has an illuminated touchpad, and the long reported chameleon outer shell you have the makings of another iteration of iPod that will be a practical, and fun device that is also a fashion statement

  3. I’m sure Apple can easily implement this. They already have a green light showing through the casing on the Macbook and Macbook Pro to indicate if the built-in iSight is on.

    There shouldn’t be too much trouble extending the concept to other parts.

  4. This patent application was discovered by Apple Insider about 6 months ago, reported on, and even posted here on MDN. Why do we have a rehash of old news?

    Because the new news is so grim?

    I’m still waiting for an external multi-touch trackpad to replace my trackball; if it’s got built-in light sensors, so much the better… just release it already.

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