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Google granted patent to get rid of the spacebar

By Ian Chee - on 30 Apr 2015, 11:03am

Google granted patent to get rid of the spacebar

The spacebar. It’s an integral part of the keyboard and you would imagine life would get pretty frustrating without it. That may well be a reality sometime in the future, as a patent awarded to Google would suggest.

This is how the concept may look like. Will you be able to get used to this? <br> Image source: USPTO.

Google proposes, via the patent, a hybrid contraption that integrates the spacebar with the touchpad of a laptop. The touchpad will be extended into the space where the spacebar usually sits, and the portion that takes the place of the spacebar “may be profiled to simulate a shape of the spacebar.”

This could work two ways. For one, spring mechanisms may be placed under the region of the touchpad that replaces the spacebar, and there would be a marker of sorts to indicate the bit of the touchpad that's doubling as the spacebar. Conversely, “an apparatus may include a keyboard including a spacebar, where the spacebar is configured to function as at least a portion of a trackpad.”

As is the way of patents, an implementation of this magnitude may never see the light of day. But if it does, and since Google now holds this patent, we may start seeing it on future Chromebooks first before it spreads elsewhere.

Source: USPTO via Wired.co.uk.