The latest patent granted to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office hints at the company working on a future variant of the Magic Mouse with integrated force touch sensors. Apple first introduced Force Touch with its 13″ 2015 MacBook refresh. Since then, the company has introduced this feature to the 15-inch MacBook, with the feature coming to the iPhone in the form of 3D Touch.
However, owners of iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac Mini have been unable to experience Force Touch since the Magic Mouse lacks this feature. Apple did update the Magic Trackpad with Force Touch last year, but some people prefer using a mouse over a trackpad. The Magic Mouse was also updated by Apple in October last year, but the update only introduced some minor new changes.
A force sensing input device (such as a force sensing mouse) may include at least one force sensor and at least one top portion movably connected (such as pivotally and/or otherwise rotatably connected via one or more pivot, one or more ball joint elements, and/or other such pivotal connection elements) to at least one bottom portion. When a force is applied to the top portion, the top portion may exert pressure on the force sensor. The force sensor may obtain force data based upon the pressure. The amount of force applied to the top portion, within a range of force amounts, may be determined from at least the force data (such as by the force sensing input device or by an electronic device to which the force sensing input device transmits the force data).
The patent was originally filed by Apple in Q1, 2013 — before the company had even publicly unveiled its Force Touch technology to consumers.
Since Apple only recently updated the Magic Mouse 2, it is unlikely that the company is working on releasing a refreshed version of the mouse this year. However, it is likely that whenever the company does end up releasing a new version of the Magic Mouse, it will come with Force Touch built-in as well.[Via Patently Apple]