Almost quietly, Apple has started a new computer revolution. Buried under the weight of the Apple Watch and the new multicolored MacBook models, is a device that is masked as a trackpad, but which can set the wheels of change for future mobile devices.
This new revolution is called Force Touch. It's Apple's new MacBook Touchpad (also available in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro model). Great whoop, right? A Touchpad is a Touchpad is a Touchpad. Well, not quite.
First, Apple's Mac joysticks have set the industry standard for durability, ease of use and precision. Force Touch takes the trackpad to another level. There is a thin glass surface without a button. That is correct. Press down on a Force Touch trackpad and you will feel a click, just like the previous trackpad model. But there is no actual click even if you feel it. Apple uses sensors to detect how much pressure you use on the trackpad, and then vibrates the pillow so you feel, well, the feedback. It feels like a click. But there is no actual click.
The amount of sensitivity is also adjustable. Press the trackpad a little harder and you will feel another, slightly stronger 'click' that can be assigned more options. It even feels like you are touching your thumb or finger. But on the surface it just looks and works just like the trackpad has worked for years.
It doesn't take much effort to visualize the future of Apple's Taptic Engine. It is also in use on Apple Watch – both on-screen and with the haptic feedback on the back.
Now imagine a whole screen with such feedback. iPhone and iPad come to mind right away. The way it works now, we can touch a button on the screen and something happens. The only feedback is the action initiated with the touch. I can imagine feedback to the screen that makes a touch feel like an answer – keyboards, buttons and much more. Press a little harder to create another feeling, which also indicates a different function. Touch-sensitive drawing is on its way to the iPhone and iPad, guys.
Now, if we could just get Apple to combine Touch ID with face and voice recognition for added security.