Google Patent Hints at Rear-Facing Touchpads; Might Feature in Upcoming Google Pixel Phones

Google is setting out to make smartphones more accessible to its users, with a new pixel device that could come with a rear touchpad surface for extra functionality. A recent patent by the company, coupled with images, suggests that this rear-facing touch surface feature in next device of the Pixel flagship could be accessed in the same manner as the rear-facing fingerprint scanner in its predecessors, such as the Pixel and Pixel XL.

Pixel 2 Smartphone
Google Pixel 2 Concept Image

The users can access or recess this feature as per their convenience, and the rear touchpad can be reportedly come with varied functionalities depending on the app or the operation currently being used.

For example, the rear touchpad allows the user to scroll through a page while using the browser and also lets you zoom-in or zoom-out on the rear touchpad itself. It could also be used for controlling volume on the phone while the music app is in use and also swipe through your photo gallery, all without having to touch the front screen at all.

“It would be advantageous to have an improved touch sensitive surface that offers additional modes of operation”, Google writes.

google-patent-touchpad
Image Source: Patently Mobile

Along with the aforementioned uses of the rear touchpad, a “gesture” area on the back of the device comes with a set of pre-defined gestures that allow the user perform several tasks including opening the camera app and even toggling on or off Wi-Fi. The user can program the default gestures for each function and could also swipe to hide or expand the notification shade.

Google had filed for this patent last year, and the USPTO finally published it last week. We cannot tell for sure if this feature will find its way into the next Google Pixel handset, but it sure has got us keeping an ear to the ground for further news.

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