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With its most recent patent, filed for in April and published on Thursday, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) further develops user interfaces by increasing the importance of the sense of sight and touch in utilizing technology.
Don’t Miss: Apple is OFF THE CHARTS!
Entitled “Illuminated Touchpad,” the new technology enables the surface of the touch pad to be illuminated by the simple movement of the user’s fingertips. The touch pad would both light up with different levels of brightness and color, and respond to varying pressure.
Illustrations included with the patent application show simple line drawings, but hint at more complex results. According to Apple Insider, which first spotted the patent, illumination can occur before the user has touched the screen, inviting the user to touch the lit area; or illumination can occur after, leaving behind a touch history.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) says in the patent description that the technology aims to give other feedback related to how the touch pad is used as a means for better functionality. “One aspect relates to devices capable of illuminating the touch sensitive surface of the touch,” the description states, “not just in backlighting so that the user knows where the touch pad is located in low light conditions, but also to give other feedback related to how the touch pad is being used.”
The company did not disclose how the technology would be used in its patent description, but artwork included with filing showed the now legendary iPod track wheel.
“The big draw in Apple’s patent application, however,” says technology website CNET in their coverage of Apple’s new patent, “might be the technology’s other function: response to pressure and motion characteristics.”
For writers at Insider, the patent shows that Apple is extending research done on the iPod’s touch wheel for possible use in its MacBook line of laptops or for devices like the Magic Trackpad.
However, CNET warns, “before we start counting the days until Apple’s new touch pad technology launches, it should be noted that the company files for boatloads of patents for technologies that never launch.”
Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed Friday at $648.11, sporting a market cap above $607 billion.
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