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Apple Obtains Patent for Force Touch equipped Touch Bar

by Khushi Lokapur

Amongst all the hype about the redesigned MacBooks scheduled to release next year, a brand new patent application was published by the US Patent & Trademark Office on Thursday, disclosing the newest version of the Touch Bar that looks very similar to the current one but what’s different is that it features “Force Touch.” 

Force Touch sensors were first introduced with the first-generation Apple Watch and they used the varying touch pressures to perform different actions based on touch intensity. Later in 2015, similar technology was introduced to the MacBook trackpad, so that it would work just like any ordinary trackpad without even a mechanical button. The iPhone 6s got 3D Touch in the same year as well, which is essentially the same technology but unfortunately, it wasn’t continued in the recent iPhones.

Although Apple Watch also no longer has Force Touch, Apple might still plan to add this feature to another product. As per the reports of Patently Apple, the company may be planning to use the latest registered patent to assemble a new Touch Bar, sensitive to touch pressure.

The abstract of the patent application read, “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 had filed the patent in May 2019 which clearly depicts the Touch Bar on MacBook with newly added circuits that make Force Touch work. There aren’t any further details on how it may work, but it’s being predicted that it be used to avoid accidental taps — that is something many MacBook users have complained about since time.

Word has been out that the redesigned MacBook models will release in 2021. However, there is no indication on whether any of those models would receive the Force Touch equipped Touch Bar.

At present, the only Mac that features the Touch Bar, which is essentially an OLED strip above the keyboard for multitasking, is the MacBook Pro and Apple hasn’t disclosed whether it plans to bring the small interactive OLED strip to other models. The MacBook Air, which was updated recently, was devoid of the OLED strip and only featured Touch ID.

Keeping all these arguments in mind, Force Touch might help Apple bring up some new use cases for the Touch Bar that many MacBook Pro users feel is currently not all that productive.

Would you prefer having a new Force Touch equipped Touch Bar on your MacBook? Or would you rather prefer physical function keys? Let us know in the comments below!

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