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Dual-Sided Touch Panels for iPhones, MacBooks, Tablets?

A new Apple patent application reveals that Apple has been working on some unique approaches to incorporating touch interfaces into future iPhones and MacBooks.

Apple introduces the idea of a double-sided translucent touch surface. This touch surface would be sensitive to touch on both sides. When placed as the bottom half of a traditional laptop...

... it could function as a multi-touch keyboard including the use of multi-touch gestures. When the user closed the laptop, however, the other side of the touch screen could act as a multi-touch overlay to the screen -- giving the device a tablet-like form factor.

Apple also explores the possibilities of incorporating a similar translucent touch pad to offer a mobile phone with similar capabilities.