Future Magic Mouse and Trackpad Could Boast Built-In Displays, Run iOS

Future Magic Mouse and Trackpad Could Boast Built-In Displays, Run iOS

Steve Jobs has very clearly spelled out his feelings about multitouch on a desktop or laptop environment. Multitouch, in Apple’s view, is meant to be horizontal, not vertical, which is why you will never see a touchscreen iMac or MacBook. The Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad are Apple’s answer to the problem posed by desktop multitouch.

Makes sense to me. That said, the problem with even the Magic Trackpad is that it’s not real multitouch, in the sense that you are not directly interacting with a display with your fingers. Instead, you’re phoning what your fingers are doing to a connected display, the same as any mouse.

That’s clearly not as elegant a solution as Apple would like, so it’s no surprise to me that a new patent application spells out the possibility of a Magic Mouse with either an “OLED or specialized display surface made of collimated optical glass that contains a unique magnifying capability.”

What this all means is that the Magic Mouse’s on-board display could work as either a customizable mouse with virtual buttons or a magnifying glass. Extrapolate a bit, though, and you see the logical end point for this technology: an iOS-like trackpad on every Mac which can be customized through the installation of apps, and on which multitouch can work as intended, with a users’ fingers directly interacting with on-screen elements.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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