Apple could add displays to its trackpads and space bar on future Macs

Apple could add Touch Bar-inspired trackpads and space bars on future Macs, according to a new patent. The company is reportedly considering the introduction of a touchscreen on the MacBook Pro, or a new feature built into integrated extra displays for total customization.

According to US Patent No 10,585,494, Apple is working on an auxiliary text display integrated into a keyboard device, designed to transform the way we use our MacBooks.

“Since the advent of the personal computer, an ever increasing number of people use computers for both professional and home purposes. Users may be somewhat limited in their productivity while operating a computer, particularly when entering data through a keyboard. However, few advances have been made in recent years to improve typing efficiency for users operating desktop and laptop computers. Therefore, an improved keyboard design is needed in order to increase efficiency and improve the user experience when typing on desktop and laptop computers,” the patent reveals.

“In general, embodiments of the present disclosure are directed to a device having a keyboard with an integrated auxiliary display. One embodiment may take the form of an electronic computing device having an enclosure with an upper portion and a lower portion pivotally coupled to the upper portion.

“The device also includes a processing unit positioned within the enclosure, a main display positioned within the upper portion and operably coupled to the processing unit, a set of keys positioned at least partially within the lower portion, and an auxiliary display positioned within the lower portion and operably coupled to the processing unit. The processing unit is configured to cause a first set of information to be displayed on the main display and to cause a second set of information to be displayed on the auxiliary display. The second set of information comprises a subset of the first set of information.

“Another embodiment may take the form of a method for rendering contextual information on an auxiliary display. The method includes the steps of rendering primary visual information on a main display, rendering secondary visual information on the auxiliary display positioned within a keyboard and operably coupled to the main display, and receiving input from an input device. In response to the input from the input device, the method updates the primary visual information and the secondary visual information to include additional information associated with the input.

“Still another embodiment may take the form of an electronic computing device having an upper portion, a lower portion, and a processing unit. The upper portion has an enclosure and a main display positioned at least partially within the enclosure.

“The lower portion includes an upper surface, a set of keys positioned within the upper surface, and an auxiliary display. The processing unit is configured to receive inputs from the set of keys. Based on the inputs from the set of keys, the processing unit causes primary visual information to be rendered on the main display and causes secondary visual information to be rendered on the auxiliary display.

“While multiple embodiments are disclosed, still other embodiments of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description. As will be realized, the embodiments are capable of modifications in various aspects, all without departing from the spirit and scope of the embodiments. Accordingly, the drawings and detailed description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not restrictive.”

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Everything Apple, every day. This post was written by an AppleMagazine newsroom writer.