Apple Could Add Force Touch Sensors to Future MacBook Pro Touch Bar

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Apple could add Force Touch sensors to the OLED Touch Bar on a future MacBook Pro if a new patent application by the company ever comes to fruition.

macbook pro w touch bar


The original Apple Watch was the first device to feature Force Touch, which sensed extra pressure when users pressed firmly on the display, allowing them to access additional content and controls depending on the context.

Apple later added Force Touch sensing technology to the MacBook Pro trackpad in 2016, and brought the haptic feedback technology to the iPhone 6s the same year in the form of 3D Touch, which featured Peek and Pop gestures.

Perhaps as a result of its lack of discoverability, Apple dropped support for Force Touch on Apple Watch with the release of watchOS 7, and ‌‌3D Touch‌‌ went the same way on ‌iPhone‌ when it was replaced by Haptic Touch (aka long press) in the iPhone XR and subsequent models.

However, the new patent published by the US Patent & Trademark Office, spotted by Patently Apple, suggests Force Touch could have an expanded role in future on the Mac, with the development of a new pressure-sensitive Touch Bar.

MacBook Touch Bar with Force Touch sensors e1606470850563


Filed in 2019, the patent is short on finer details, but does offer visual examples of how force-sensing technology would be implemented in a MacBook Touch Bar, with Force Touch circuitry surrounding the touch-sensitive OLED strip.

The Touch Bar for MacBook Pro was introduced in October 2016, with a Touch ID sensor integrated into the power button. The control strip has replaced the top row of function keys on most MacBook Pro models ever since, and its usefulness continues to divide opinion.

Would you be interested in seeing Force Touch added to the Touch Bar, or is it time for Apple to drop the OLED strip altogether and bring back the function keys? Let us know in the comments.

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