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

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.

In 2015, Apple added the haptic feedback technology to the iPhone 6s in the form of 3D Touch, which featured Peek and Pop gestures, and brought Force Touch sensing technology to the MacBook Pro trackpad the same year.

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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Top Rated Comments

Mythos99 Avatar
46 months ago
I would really love, if they would make a 16 MBP without the touchbar. Just give the users a choice :).
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mattspace Avatar
46 months ago
Woo, strap in folks, the feature noone wants on the Macbook Pro, to get the feature noone cared about on the iPhone.

Michael Jackson, eating popcorn while looking amused.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jonplackett Avatar
46 months ago
There’s this other invention, created a while back but it’s still a goodie.

You press down on it using force, a lot like force touch, except it actually loves, and then something happens. I think it’s called a ‘button’ or sometimes a ‘key’.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bountyofcolors Avatar
46 months ago
Lipstick on a pig.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Marbles1 Avatar
46 months ago
The Touch Bar would be useful if it somehow had physical buttons - which could dynamically change according to the layout.

Something like this: https://www.yuelilianyuan.com/new-project

Keyboards are best when you don't have to look at them; and when you don't accidentally press buttons.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
icymountain Avatar
46 months ago
If the touchbar was such a wonderful idea, I think the external keyboards would have it by now, almost five years after introduction.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)