Apple patents "wide touchpad" for notebooks

Posted by Mark Raby

Cupertino (CA) - Apple has received a patent for a touchpad that basically extends for the entire length of a notebook computer, adding to a series of related patents expected to make their way to future MacBooks.

As the patent notes, most laptop computers have a very small touchpad so the surrounding area of empty space can be used to rest the user's palms.  The new idea from Apple would be to have this empty space filled with a much wider touchpad.

The patent calls it a touch pad with "a width that extends substantially into the palm rests areas."

Apple claims the technology could be used to decipher what kind of input is being made on the touchpad, "to either accept the contact as an intentional input command (e.g., cursor control command), or reject the contact as unintentional (e.g., when operating as a palm rest)."

It seems to go hand in hand with another Apple patent that has been making waves in the portable computing market, a multi-touch input device that can determine where the user's touch is in relation to the entire touchpad and how much pressure is being exerted.