While Microsoft’s Surface devices and other premium Windows laptops are now rocking great touchpads, they are not as innovative as the ones that are found on Apple’s MacBook. Microsoft isn’t trying to mimic what Apple did with its MacBook touchpads, but it appears that the company is working hard to improve the touchpad experience.
The company has recently filed a new patent application titled, “LAYOUT FOR A TOUCH INPUT SURFACE,” which showcases what a much-needed trackpad improvement could look like. Microsoft envisioned a Touch Input Surface that can be used a different touch input zones. “Based on different contextual factors, the single logical input surface can be divided into different touch input zones that can each receive touch input to invoke a different respective functionality,” Microsoft explained.
The logical input surface that Microsoft discussed will be responsive, meaning that when a context change occurs, the logical input surface can be reconfigured, making it easier for you achieve a different arrangement of touch input zones. For better clarity, read the description from Microsoft below.
The touchpad can be characterized as a single logical input surface that can be divided into different touch input zones dependent on a particular context. For instance, when an operating system or other system process is in focus, the touchpad can be configured into different zones based on a particular zone layout defined for the operating system. When an application is in focus, however, the touchpad can be configured into a different arrangement of touch input zones, such as defined by the application and/or for the application. As detailed below, a variety of different context information can be leveraged to determine how to configure a touch input surface. Further, a variety of different types and combinations of touch input surfaces can be leveraged to create an array of different touch input surface configurations.
It’s worth noting that patent often doesn’t translate to a product, and this might meet the same fate as well too. Nevertheless, if ever this technology sees the daylight, the touchpad of Microsoft Surface devices will be one to get it first.