In a recently published patent Microsoft explains how to bring touch control to laptops without a touch screen.
The work has become particularly significant in light of their Your Phone app, which streams Android apps to your PC. Microsoft warns that some of those apps are only designed for touch screen control and would therefore not work properly with keyboard and mouse from your PC.
The January 2020 patent, “USING AN ALTERNATE INPUT DEVICE AS A MANEUVERABLE EMULATED TOUCH SCREEN DEVICE” suggests the simple solution of entering a mode where your trackpad pretends to be a touch screen, delivering touch inputs to apps as if you are touching the screen instead of trying to control the cursor.
Microsoft notes however that a trackpad is generally a lot smaller than the screen, and their solution is a movable input area (the lighter box in the drawing above) which can be positioned via a two-finger swipe, which would then move the input area where you want to the desired touch input to take place (e.g in the example drawing a signature with your finger).
As mentioned earlier, while the solution would be pretty awkward to emulate a whole touch screen, it may work pretty well for the much smaller windows of phone apps being streamed to your PC.
The full patent can be seen here.
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