The aim of today’s computer manufacturers is to make computers as small as possible. For this they are trying everything; from making the keys movable (Mac) to removing the bezel (Dell XPS laptops). Now, Google has come up with a new patent, as per which, Google might consider doing away with the space bars on the keyboards, to make way for space-saving laptops
So, what will change in Google’s keyboard
Quartz covered this news where the details of Google’s patent on keyboard design are mentioned. Quartz says,
“In the patent, the company outlined a design for a laptop that replaces the space bar with an extended trackpad. The patent suggests that part of the trackpad—separated by a line or a ridge—would serve as a space bar, and the rest would just be a regular trackpad. A set of sensors that sit under the trackpad would determine whether the user wants a space bar or a mouse: A single tap when the user has been typing will create a space, but a tap while the using the trackpad as a mouse will result in a mouse click.”
Thus, the trackpad will serve as a virtual keyboard for space bar and the mouse click. Google is certain that a small change in keyboard, i.e. removing the space bar, will make a big change in the size of the keyboard. This will help in creating smaller laptop computer, as the trackpad will be pushed upwards in the area that the space bar would have occupied.
You can relate this change to Lenovo’s new laptops where the trackpad is placed very close to the keyboard. On this, Quartz suggests, why Google is using a trackpad for converting only space bar into a virtual key, when it can turn any number of keys into virtual keys.
A Google representative mentions that not all the patents that Google holds are converted into products. So, it will be interesting to see whether Google really converts this patent by removing the space bar will actually convert into a product.