Apple’s latest patent application reveals Force Touch could debut on MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar. The US Patent and Trademark Office published the patent application on Thursday. The Force Touch debuted in 2014 on the first-generation Apple Watch. Then it made way to iPhone as 3D Touch and new MacBook trackpad.
The patent details how Force Touch can make it to the MacBook Pro TouchBar. This way, input with different levels of force will trigger a different functionality. The patent figure shows off a Touch Bar with Force Touch input. Apple has used a cover set over secondary input to detect different levels of force. In other words, the cover deforms whenever external pressure is exerted. Furthermore, the magnitude of the force is transferred to the force-sensing circuitry.
Interestingly, Apple is bringing back features it had ditched earlier. For instance, the MagSafe charger was removed from Mac and made a comeback on the latest iPhone 12. Similarly, Apple had ditched the 3D Touch on Apple Watch and is now looking to bring it back on the MacBook Pro 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.
Apple’s 3D Touch on iPhone was a well-conceived feature. However, most people didn’t get the hang of 3D Touch, and finally, Apple removed it to accommodate a larger battery. It is also worth noting that not many developers implemented 3D Touch over the past five years.
3D Touch on MacBook Pro will add multiple layers of features. Apple has shied away from touch screens on MacBook and instead implemented Touch Bar. MacBook Pro is aimed at professionals, and perhaps they will use the feature to its true potential.[via USPTO]