There is a new patent out on the market that suggests that Google is taking a serious look into bringing Android into the desktop/notebook computing scene. Like Apple and Microsoft who are in the process of blending their desktop and mobile OS experiences it appears Android will eventually be doing the same. Considering that Andy Rubin told us back in September that we would see Android support for Intel Technology the move makes sense. Today’s patent focuses on the trackpad and various actions that can be done with it.
According to the Search Giant the Android OS itself has been designed around a touch screen interface and so have the apps. It may be prudent however, to afford both the OS and these various applications the ability to operate on desktop/notebook devices with physical input devices like keyboards and pointing devices. Trackpad operations could be directly mapped to touch screen events which in turn would then be processed by applications if they were configured to respond to such inputs.
For example, the patent could very well mirror that of finger tap operations. The user could touch or tap on the trackpad using a single finger and it would deliver a similar experience of a touchscreen finger tap. That operation would then be mapped to a touchscreen event that could be generated for processing by an application. The same could be said for multi-touch operations like Pinch-to-Zoom.
While this is a generalization of some of the capabilities that could be seen from this type of patent it does show that Google is interested in bringing their mobile OS to the traditional computing front. Personally I’ve liked the idea of being able to do this ever since I bought the keyboard dock for my original Transformer. While rudimentary in nature it shows that the idea has much potential.
If you’re interested in knowing more you can scroll a bit further to get a quick break down of each of the figures submitted for the patent. While I suggest reading the patent in it’s entirety to get the full picture, the breakdown should help you get a quick idea of what we may see down the road. Who knows maybe in 2013 we’ll see an Android carrying Ultrabook. Here’s hoping! Enjoy!
FIG. 1 shows a block diagram suggesting how a computing device could be configured to map trackpad operations with corresponding touchscreen events. Google says that users can use multi-touch actions on the trackpad which is shown at part 10 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 shows how trackpad operations can be mapped to respective touchscreen events. This can include Pinch-to-Zoom or multi-touch movements.
source: Patently Apple