Apple Patent Application Shows It Could Bring Force Touch to MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar

Apple filed a patent application for the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar with Force Touch in May 2019.

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Apple Patent Application Shows It Could Bring Force Touch to MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar

Apple may able to bring new use cases to MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar through Force Touch

Highlights
  • Apple appears to have new circuits to bring Force Touch to Touch Bar
  • Touch Bar has so far been exclusive to MacBook Pro
  • Apple brought Force Touch to the MacBook family in 2015

Apple could make a new MacBook Pro model that would come with a Touch Bar supporting pressure sensing Force Touch. This has been suggested by a patent application that was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday. Apple introduced its Force Touch technology on the first-generation Apple Watch back in September 2014. It, however, reached the iPhone lineup as 3D Touch and debuted on the MacBook family through an all-new trackpad in 2015.

As spotted by Patently Apple, the US Patent and Trademark Office has featured the patent application on its website that suggests an upgraded Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro with support for Force Touch. There are apparently new circuits to detect different levels of force being applied to the Touch Bar.

“The secondary display and force-sensing circuitry may be encapsulated between two glass layers that are bonded to one another by a frit. In some embodiments the force-sensing circuitry is formed from, or constitutes part of, the frit,” reads the abstract of the patent application.

apple macbook pro touch bar force touch patent image uspto Apple MacBook Pro  MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Apple has submitted a patent application for bringing Force Touch to MacBook Pro's Touch Bar
Photo Credit: USPTO

 

Apple has revised the original Force Touch technology with some upgrades in the past and even transformed the experience into Haptic Touch for the newer iPhone models. But the purpose of the technology has remained the same — which is to trigger certain features on long pressing on the screen.

The newly published patent application was filed by Apple in May 2019. It is unclear whether the update will be available across all new MacBook Pro models or limited to a particular variant.

Some recent reports suggested that redesigned MacBook models will be arriving in 2021. However, there is no clarity on whether any of those models would feature the new Touch Bar with Force Touch. It is also not clear that Touch Bar, which is essentially an OLED strip above the keyboard for multitasking, will remain exclusive to MacBook Pro or also debut on MacBook Air in the future.

That being said, Force Touch may help Apple bring some new use cases for the Touch Bar that is currently not all that productive for many MacBook Pro users.


Will Apple Silicon Lead to Affordable MacBooks in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Jagmeet Singh Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at jagmeets@ndtv.com. Please send in your leads and tips. More
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