New Patent Indicates Google May Have Eyes for the Desktop Space


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Dec 30, 2010
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Previously, we shared an interesting idea that Google may be working toward competing in the desktop space. Today, a new patent filed by Google further backs up that supposition. Apparently, Google filed a multi-touch trackpad patent that looks squarely aimed at a desktop arena rather than the typical tablet or smartphone form factor. Here's a brief description of the patent and a picture above to give you the gist of what Google is aiming for,

Using a multitouch trackpad, a user can “directly interact with graphical elements located at the current pointer location as if they are using a touchscreen device, and perform traditional touchscreen operations (e.g., dragging/flinging content, scrolling).”

The PatentlyApple source link below goes into greater detail describing the patent, and includes several more pics. It would be pretty interesting if Google ends up being the first serious competitor to Microsoft in the desktop OS retail space (I don't really count Apple because they only control about 12% of the world computer market - However, I do give them credit... they fulfill their niche perfectly. Also, it's interesting to note that recent marketing data indicates that Apple has now sold more iPhones with iOS on them than Microsoft has sold Windows on PC's ever - food for thought). Of course, to tackle Microsoft's real power-base, which is Office, Google will have to go a long way toward improving Google Docs to compete there. Still, if anyone can do it, Google with Android can. What do you guys think?

Source: BGR and PatentlyApple
don't trackpads already do this?! don't we already use a trackpad to interact with crap on a screen? you know - move the icons around on our desktop, create horrible images in mspaint, etc etc? this doesn't seem to be any less of a "generic" BS patent request than what apple has typically done...what am i missing here?
I don't think you are missing anything. I think you have it dead on. I suspect that Google is tired of letting Apple patent every other baloney feature under the sun and is trying to get pro-active and stop them before it becomes a problem. Of course, that is just my speculation, and could be off base...
^ that's kinda what i was it wrong that i hope that this is denied and then apple tries it too and also gets slapped for being STUPID? i love my parents and don't dislike any of your parents lol but when that generation is outta here, or at least not WORKING any longer, i feel like we'll finally see smarter decisions in technology being made. Right now there are too many less-than-adequate-technically-informed-people running some of these shows!
My MacBook Pro that I am using right now has a multitouch trackpad...

*LOL* I was just gonna say Apple's been doing this for awhile, and even my meager Dell Mini 9 netbook has a gesture-enabled touchpad. I don't even think Apple came up with this, if you want to know the truth I believe Synaptics is the company behind it.

It will be interesting to see how Google manages to patent a Synaptics product. The thing is, the point of this MAY be to hurt Apple; but it could end up hurting the entire mobile computing industry.
I think Google is being ridiculous back ok purpose to prove a point.

Apple tried to patent face unlock recently.
The app that came with my Acer Iconia uses this. It's so I can control my PC from my Tablet. The two finger thing is weird.
Don't know if this is in its entirety, and also seems to be aimed a bit more at touchpads interacting with a tablet or smartphone interface (think lapdock).

Also, nothing wrong with protecting YOUR technology. The issue people have with Apple is using it to sue people in anti-competitive behavior as opposed to simply protecting their turf.

And, yeah, Google may be putting some bullets into its gun if Apple continues to confront Android and its partners.
Apple sold more iPhones with iOS than Microsoft sold PCs with windows? BS!!!!! There is not a chance in hell that that little factoid you guys dug up is correct.

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You know what would be funny? If Google is granted this patent and sues Apple for putting gesture-enabled trackpads on their macbooks :biggrin: