Patent Reveals the Possibilities of Laptop Multitouch

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MacRumors has uncovered a intriguing patent application from Apple describing some of their possible planned multi-touch interface additions to OS X. Combinations include four finger taps to reveal Exposé, thumb-and-finger combinations, and even a way to recognize the pinky at the bottom of a fist for some sort of club-handed command. (I’m guessing why-you-little-Ctrl-Z.)

Whether or not we’ll see any of this stuff on current-generation hardware (besides the Macbook Air) is anyone’s guess. I think it’s at least possible these upgrades could be done in software, despite some debate on whether or not the chipset powering the trackpads could handle it. I base this purely from the increased size of the trackpads from the PowerBook to MacBook. Surely they wouldn’t have nearly doubled in size just for two-fingered scrolling?

Apple Depicts Advanced Multitouch Gesturing Control Panel in Mac OS X [MacRumors.com]

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3 Responses to Patent Reveals the Possibilities of Laptop Multitouch

  1. brianary says:

    Those gestures may look VERY familiar to users of the FingerWorks TouchStream keyboard, which Apple purchased–clearly to take their IP.

  2. deejayqueue says:

    that’s great, but what if you’re left handed?

  3. drmacro says:

    I met Doug Englebart some years ago. Doug invented the mouse and developed it as a system for rapid execution of commands. In Doug’s system, there were two parts, the mouse, which only moved the pointer, and a chording keyboard that you used to create commands using all five fingers. Apparently you could go very very fast with that system (it was part of his larger “Augment” project).

    Apple saw that and reduced it to just a pointer and one button.

    Now, almost 20 years later they’re adding in the part Doug had at the start.

    Hmmm…

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