Apple patent reveals new concept notebook and translucent 3D trackpad

“A new Apple invention that was discovered in Europe’s Patent Office database also showed up at the US Patent and Trademark Office in recent weeks. Apple’s patent, which was late coming to the public, covers an invention of theirs that relates to a track pad device which includes a capacitive array element capable of sensing touch from two surfaces and sending signals indicative of the touches,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“The capacitive array element may be able to sense multiple simultaneous touches and distinguish on which side the touches are occurring,” Purcher reports. ” A connected processor unit, either in the device or the host system, may be adapted to interpret the signals as a cursor or view movement with six degrees of freedom.”

Purcher reports, “The track pad device includes a display element whereby the capacitive array element is fully translucent.”

Much more, including Apple’s patent application illustrations, in the full article here.


  1. If they ever come out with a full sized virtual keyboard with excellent haptics, what’s the difference to that of a physical keyboard?

    We’re all warming up to virtual keyboards and the next generation of them might convince us that the virtual one holds the most promise in changing notebooks forever. That’s why this new idea could actually work in 3 or 4 years time.

    I think it’s where notebooks are going. It won’t be for everyone, but the advantages of the keyboard area being able to morph into a virtual gaming pad and so forth is going to tempt us all.

  2. I’m still waiting for “Patently Apple” to post a single worthwhile article. Seriously. They spend all that time going through all those patents and their write-ups are always 1) tedious to read; 2) not particularly interesting; 3) played up to be the next big thing, which we all know is not how most patents end up; and 4) tedious to read, or did I write that already? Because if not, let me add that their articles are always tedious to read and essentially never worth the effort.


    1. Some of us like to have the patent presented to us the way Apple describes it rather than some knuckle head blogger interpreting it for us. So I for one, appreciate PA’s approach. I also appreciate that PA expresses some enthusiasm about what Apple’s engineers are working on. The iPhone, iPad, iPod and lots of product tweeks have first been found in patents way before they came to market.

      Obviously PA is not for you, but that’s certainly not the view of those in my circle. I hate rumor sites like you hate PA but at least PA makes an effort in reporting what Apple is actuallyk working on, even if it’s only on paper at the start. Obviously you don’t have a clue how long an idea takes to come to market.

      Even Steve Jobs made a Big Deal out the 200 patents in the iPhone launch in 2007. He understood the importance of patents and if you don’t get that, then it’s really your problem. But to each his own, I suppose.

    2. When a commenter has to go off on a tangent about a blog instead of the topic at hand, we smell competing site or a disciple of Gruber. What a joke.

      As for this new idea. Apple works on many notebook ideas and I like to hear about all of them. It sure beats reading 200 rumors about liquid metal or a stupid port I could give a shit about. I work with in a manufacturing plant that is always working on patenting new ideas and I love it.

      And by the way, technical writing is different that stylized wriing. Just go to another site if you don’t like patentlyapple. But to rant over it? Get a life already!

    3. Wow, I couldn’t disagree with you more. PA articles are written in multiple levels. If you just want “simple” or “Quick and Easy” you just have to read the opening summary. No one is forcing you to read the rest of the report.

      If you appreciate patent figures to help you visualize what the patent is trying to convey, this guy goes out of way to combine patent figures in groups intelligently like no one in the industry.

      And, if you love engineering, you appreciate that the author doesn’t baby his audience and actually leaves in the patent point numbers so that we could follow along with the patent figures. Patentlyapple is definitely one of the top IP sites around. You have no idea how many lawyers follow PA. On this point, Nerdy, you missed the boat.

      1. Yeah yeah. My sense is the opposite of all yours. To me they are actually trying to get people all excited about their blog and their “discovery” when in fact the patent is anything but exciting or likely.

        I’ll never be a PA fan or reader. But when i see their links on mdn for some reason I assume they’ve broken form and actually have sound something great.

        Not once has that been true. Just saying.

        1. You’re obviously addicted to junky rumors. The iPhone was backed by over 200 boring patents, with enough to beat Samsung. Thank god for “boring” patents and the hard working engineers at Apple. I’ll always appreciate reading about new product ideas from real engineers instead of “opinions” and rumors from blogging sites.

    1. The author of this report first started at Macsimum News and in 2006 he ran about 30 or more reports about the coming iPhone. Of course it looked like a dorky box, but patent applications aren’t about the drawings accuracy but rather the substance. Many yahoos like you spit on those reports and in 2007, we got the iPhone. In 2011 we got the iPad. So much for your limited history of patents turning into products.

      Though I get your point. It’s not like Apple will have 10 new products a year. But I still like to know what projects Apple is thinking about. If a writer tries to make it fun to read, I say go for it. If you have the brains, you know that all tech articles put a little spin on everything. What world do you live in?

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