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Apple’s Touch ID Sensor Could Soon Double Up as a Trackpad, Patents Reveal


The late Steve Jobs was one of the most talented visionaries of our times. His untimely death was a major loss to Apple as well as to the world.

His ideas and concepts were beyond our times, and his foresight was always appreciated. The legendary Steve Jobs might have passed away, but the company still functions in the path that had been laid by him.

Apple has been working on the lines of innovation driven changes, and the company is expected to add more to their already impressive list of innovations really soon.

Apple is, according to recently revealed patent documents, intending to add a 3D touch like feature to their Touch ID sensor, making it double up as a trackpad, as a mouse of some kind.

The patent is quite interesting, and it reads –

“An object can depress an input device, such as, for example, a function button in an electronic device.

A resistive element having a mechanically resistive force can be disposed to resist the depression or movement of the input device. One or more electrodes can be disposed to provide a measure of capacitance based on the depression of the input device.

A shield can be disposed to reduce the parasitic capacitance between the one or more electrodes and the object. The electronic device can include a fingerprint sensor operable connected to at least one of the one or more electrodes,”

The trackpad is expected to recognize two kinds of pressures – a deep press and a light tap, where each of them would result in a different action. This is somewhat similar to what the company had earlier introduced with the 3D Touch feature.

The patent further explains about how this would work. The trackpad would be divided into four parts, where pressing each one would result in some kind of a different action, maybe just navigation on lighter presses and a pre-set task on heavier press. A central press would also be recognized.

Interested readers can take a look at the patent documents here.

However, this patent was filed in July of 2015, and has been approved recently. Now that the patent is out there, even that does not guarantee that the company will actually release something of that sort, as has been the case with several other devices patented by companies in the past.