Apple loves their pressure sensitive technology they call Force Touch. They’ve added it to the latest iPhones (which is dubbed 3D Touch), the new 12-inch MacBook alongside the latest MacBook Pros, the Apple Watch, and the recently launched Magic Trackpad 2. Now, it looks like the company wants to bring the technology to their Magic Mouse according to a newly granted patent spotted by Patently Apple.
A mouse is typically an input device that can generally be manipulated by a user to provide directional input to an associated electronic device. In some cases, such a mouse may include one or more selection elements to which a user can apply force in order to indicate a selection. However, such selection elements are generally binary-they are activated, or they are not. That is, the selection elements typically only detect whether or not a force exceeding a particular threshold has been applied and cannot determine the actual amount of force that has been applied within a range of force amounts.
Apple explains how the technology would be implemented and used in the Magic Mouse alongside the functionality it will add:
A force sensing input device (such as a force sensing mouse) includes at least one force sensor and at least one top portion movably connected to at least one bottom portion. When a force is applied to the top portion, the top portion exerts pressure on the force sensor. The force sensor obtains force data based upon the pressure. The amount of force applied to the top portion, within a range of force amounts, is determined from at least the force data. In this way, a broader range of inputs may be receivable from the force sensing input device as compared to input devices that merely detect whether or not a button or similar element has been pushed.
It’s going to be interesting to see just how Force Touch will be implemented into the Mouse if it even makes it to it at all. By pressing even harder on your mouse, it may feel a bit strange. And you know if Apple adds the extra layer of functionality to the mouse, they’re most likely to remove the mechanical click we’ve all come to know and love and replace it with a vibration motor that creates a sensation of a click. They did this with the Force Touch trackpads in their MacBooks alongside the Magic Trackpad 2, so why wouldn’t they do it with the Magic Mouse? If you find a reason for otherwise, please let me know.