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November 2006

Major Apple Touchscreen Patent for MacBook, Tablet PC's and handhelds


On November 16, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's patent application titled "mechanical overlay" which was originally filed in May 2005. Apple's patent relates generally to overlays for touch sensing devices. More particularly, the present invention relates to mechanical overlays that include one or more mechanical actuators that provide touch inputs to the touch sensing devices. This powerful patent provides several great examples of mechanical touchscreen overlays which could be used with a future iPod, cell phone, PDA, remote control or gaming device. Furthermore, the patent provides us with a unique glimpse into how touchscreens will eventually replace traditional MacBook keyboards in addition to providing users with the ability to transform the new keyboard-GUI into being a piano keyboard amongst other great and fun applications.

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