Apple wins a Patent for a Possible Future MacBook that will provide users with an Expandable Virtual Trackpad
Back in 2016 Patently Apple posted two IP reports (01 and 02) titled "Apple is Focusing on a Game Changing Notebook Design," and "Apple Invents the Movable Illuminated MacBook Trackpad." In March 2019 we posted a new MacBook patent application report on this subject matter and to end off that month Patently Apple discovered one last patent application in Europe that illustrated Apple's vision for a Virtual or Dynamic Trackpad with regions that could extend to the MacBook's sidewalls. Today Apple was granted that patent we first discovered in Europe.
Apple relating to their work on a possible future MacBook that has an illuminated body that defines a virtual or dynamic trackpad. The electronic device includes a translucent layer defining a keyboard region and a dynamic input region along an external surface. A light control layer positioned below the translucent layer and within the dynamic input region may have a group of illuminable features.
Apple's engineers note that the translucent layer below the keyboard is illuminated by an array of light-emitting elements (or a single light-emitting element) to create a configurable or customizable boundary of the active input area. The active input area may be moved, resized, rearranged, functionally reassigned, or the like along the dynamic input region.
Apple's patent FIG. 1A below depicts a sample electronic device including a dynamic input region; FIG. 1C depicts an enlarged view of the dynamic input region having an illuminated input area; FIG. 1D depicts an enlarged view of the dynamic input region having a modified illuminated input area.
Apple's granted patent was originally filed in Q2 2018 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Patently Apple first covered this granted patent as a patent application discovered in Europe. You could review our original report here.