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Apple Files Patent for Glass Haptic Trackpad on Future MacBook

By:  RENDC     24 January 2023

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Apple Files Patent for Glass Haptic Trackpad on Future MacBook

Apple just submitted a patent application to the US Patent and Trademark Office for a future MacBook model with a trackpad made completely of glass. The patent describes a bezel-free, formable force input/tactile output interface for the touchpad made of a variety of materials, including metallic glass and composite materials. The user interface surface may be a protective cover made of sapphire or glass that lies on top of the display's active display area.

By distributing the force input/haptic output actuators across the whole width of the MacBook and removing the conventional cutout area for a dedicated trackpad, the design of this future MacBook also attempts to lower the thickness of the device. The 2023 laptop has a glass construction, a trackpad that is only visible when necessary, and lights under the glass that, when touched, reveal the trackpad's perimeter. This design is comparable to the one LG displayed at CES.

It's noteworthy because Apple is already working on a patent that is comparable and might light up icons on a glass laptop in the future. A dynamic virtual trackpad would be employed in the patent. Overall, the patent filing shows that Apple is looking into alternative design concepts for its upcoming MacBook, which will focus on a simple, minimalist aesthetic while adding cutting-edge technology like a force input/haptic output interface. Readers can look up more details by consulting Apple's patent application, US 20230018184 A1.

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