Apple's Touch-Sensitive MacBook Patent Puts Controls in the Screen Bezel

By Gerald Lynch on at

Ever since the rise of Apple's touchscreen devices, it's seemed only a matter of time until a touchscreen MacBook arrives. But those who wince at finger-smeared screens may not need to worry -- a newly uncovered patent suggests Apple is more interested in revamping the bezel.

Patent number 8,654,524 describes a laptop that houses sensors in both the area around the screen and the casing itself. These senors could be used to control functions of the laptop, and would be capable of recognising gestures such as squeezes, or double-taps.

The patent also describes the possibility of integrating proximity sensors, which could be used to identify specific peripherals, guiding the user towards which port is appropriate for them to be plugged into. That's a neat idea -- dummy-proofing the machine for those not as familiar with computing components (and likely freeing up some Apple Genius Bar space in the process).

As ever, a patent filing doesn't have to suggest an in-the-works product. But with Apple expected to introduce more iOS-like features to Mac OSX as the years roll on, such an input system may do well to bridge the gap between touchscreen devices and a traditional laptop. [USPTO via The Register]