Apple Ceramic Patent Hints At Touchscreen MacBook
A recent patent to land at the US Patent And Trademark Office suggests Apple are bringing back elements of their banished Touch Bar to the screen of their laptops.
Apple’s application describes a “concealable input region for an electronic device”. They are working on an enclosure for the laptop – believed to be a MacBook Pro – out of premium materials, such as ceramic. Glass and plastic are also options.
Using highly durable ceramic would be a whole new ball game in the laptop market, though Apple have previously dabbled in it with past Apple Wataches.
If they do go with this casing, embedded in it, particularly around the glass screen, would be touch buttons that could change and light up, depending on the app.
These touch buttons would work in a similar way the Touch Bar did.
In their application, Apple say the microperforations in a area around the display would be “visually imperceptible” when not lit up, but they would light up to display symbols when needed.
Apple have shown an illustration which shows an email button that can be launched with a press of the top-right bezel of the unit.
If this comes to fruition it would be the closest Apple have got to a touchscreen laptop. Previously, Apple have pointed to the iPad as making it unnecessary.
“We make the world’s best touch computer on an iPad,” boasts Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering John Ternus.
“It’s totally optimised for that. And the Mac is totally optimised for indirect input. We haven’t really felt a reason to change that.”
Still, Apple have been experimenting with different screen ideas. They recently patented an iMac design with a curved display.