Finally, after so many nights, Apple showed something that might be important for the future of laptops. The Touch Bar. I haven’t written about Apple in a long time. The reason being that the past iterations of the Mac were, well, bland. But now, I think that this hybrid approach to input in the laptop can work well and hope to see this developed into more products other than just a strip of OLED display above the numbers row.
- Would a Touch Bar placed between the numbers row and the letters work better for practical purposes?
- With such a large trackpad, would it be possible to have the Touch Bar technology in the trackpad and make it a secondary screen? akin to a Nintendo 3DS?
- There is a lot of real estate on the surface of the keyboard. Between palm rests, trackpad and Touch Bar would be possible to make the entire surface a screen? BUT, please never remove the physical keyboard for text input. Well, Apple could make the individual keys mini-screens with variable input according to apps.
- Imagine swapping the position of the keyboard with the trackpad. The keyboard would be on the edge and the trackpad near the screen. Next imagine a trackpad whose width was equal to that of the keyboard. But even better. The trackpad also was a touch screen. That would really be an amazing touch bar.
Touch Bar: the beginning of a new trend?
These are ideas that would make the MacBook Pro very expensive, but as the technology matures, prices would go down. What I like in the Touch Bar is that the door is now open to an array of possibilities that until now didn’t exist. I don’t think that this implementation of this Touch Bar is that brilliant, but it is all about the potential for the future of laptops. Let’s just hope that the Touch Bar feature becomes useful and not something like Sony’s PS Vita back touchpad.
Research has been trying to find alternatives input method for ages. Voice controlled, stenographic inputs, eye movement controlled input, etc… All very interesting on their own, but nothing until now could supplant a traditional keyboard. Maybe the combination of touchscreen and traditional keys is the way forward.