Apple could make a new MacBook Pro model that comes with a Touch Bar that supports Force Touch pressure measurement. This was suggested by a patent application filed Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Apple introduced its Force Touch technology back in September 2014 on the first-generation Apple Watch. However, it reached the iPhone lineup as the 3D Touch and debuted in the MacBook family in 2015 via a brand new trackpad.
As noted by Patently Apple, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office posted the patent application on its website proposing an updated Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro with support for Force Touch. There appears to be new circuitry to detect different levels of force being applied to the Touch Bar.
“The secondary display and force measurement circuit can be encapsulated between two layers of glass that are connected to one another by a frit. In some embodiments, the force measuring circuit is formed from the frit or forms part of it, ”says the abstract of the patent application.
Apple has revamped the original Force Touch technology in the past with a few upgrades and even turned the experience into Haptic Touch for the newer iPhone models. The purpose of the technology, however, has remained the same – namely to trigger certain functions with a long press on the screen.
The newly published patent application was filed by Apple in May 2019. It’s unclear whether the update will be available for all new MacBook Pro models or limited to a specific variant.
Some recent reports suggested that revamped MacBook models will arrive in 2021. However, there is no clarity as to whether any of these models would feature the new Touch Bar with Force Touch. It’s also not clear that the Touch Bar, which is essentially an OLED strip above the keyboard for multitasking, will continue to be exclusive to MacBook Pro or even MacBook Air in the future.
That being said, Force Touch can help Apple create some new use cases for the Touch Bar that are currently not too productive for many MacBook Pro users.
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