Apple patents "Invisible Button" technology

Apple granted a patent titled “Disappearing Button or Slider” shows that Apple is at least thinking about how to bring elements of touch computing to all devices by replacing buttons and other controls with capacitive controls which appear only when needed. The patent describes “The input appears invisible to the user because it would be […]

Apple granted a patent titled “Disappearing Button or Slider” shows that Apple is at least thinking about how to bring elements of touch computing to all devices by replacing buttons and other controls with capacitive controls which appear only when needed. The patent describes “The input appears invisible to the user because it would be made of the same material as the housing it is contained in. The use of “invisible” backlit holes could make the input selectively visible or invisible for the user. One illustration included with the application shows an iPod-like control wheel located to the left of the notebook’s trackpad. Such controls could be displayed with the touch of a finger, and then disappear when they are not in use — such as when a user’s wrist is resting in that area for typing on the keyboard.”

More info: Patent Application

[Source]