Yes, you read that correct. Apparently Google has signed a patent which would not only make the Future Laptops more compact, but it would also eliminate the humble space bar completely. I know that the mere thought of the missing space bar must have taken a toll on you. It will take some time for this highly possible reality to sink it, but it will help you to get used to a new keyboard layout.
The “Space-Bar-Less” Layout
A new layout has been proposed for the laptops of the future where the space bar would be replaced with an extension of the mouse track pad. The following design has been conceptualized and patented by Google and soon enough, you can expect to see such devices rolling out in the market on a commercial scale.
New Space-Bar-Less Layout for the Laptop of the Future (Source: Deccan Chronicle)
The design, as represented in the image above, indicates the following:
- The trackpad and the rest of the keyboard are separated by a ridge or a line. It is being speculated that this ridge would serve as a space bar. However, this will be determined by the sensors present underneath the trackpad.
- Based on the configurations of this space, it is possible that touching this region would result in a “space” in the text (or other assigned functions of a space bar) while a tap would result in a mouse click.
A Questionable Layout?
This is a rather ingenious concept with an interesting design. Who would have thought that a keyboard can be imagined without the space bar? But technology (and the relevant conceptual designs) are always evolving, so this could be another step in the technological evolution. From a theoretical perspective, the design does seem to offer a smart way of utilizing space by working on the form of input to work as a space bar and as a mouse click respectively.
However, Lenovo currently offers a laptop design where the trackpad is pretty close to the space bar. This is where the patented design provided by Google becomes questionable. Maybe Lenovo was working on a similar design but Google managed to get a patent for it. Nothing is certain as of now, but the search engine giant definitely has an upper hand in this scenario.
What To Expect!
Apparently, the patent office had rejected Google space-bar-less design 4 times in a row over the years before finally providing approval for the same recently. This only goes to show that the company has been working towards refining the design and coming out with an effective layout that makes up for the absence of the space bar. Now that the company has received the patent, are we looking at a smaller keyboard with a new layout in the upcoming Chromebook line of laptops? We can only wait in anticipation of seeing this layout come alive in the near future.