Google patent could mean that future Pixel phones will sport a rear touchpad

Google patent could mean that future Pixel phones will sport a rear touchpad
Google has received a patent for a feature that could allow future Pixel models to sport a touch sensitive surface on the rear cover of the phone. Or, Google could license the patent to phone manufacturers. Google writes in its filing, "It would be advantageous to have an improved touch sensitive surface that offers additional modes of operation." This rear touchpad could handle many different tasks depending on the app or operation that the user currently has open.

For example, if a music app is open, the rear touchpad would control music volume. If the browser was in use, the rear touchpad could allow the user to zoom in and out or scroll through web pages, all without having to touch the front screen. Photos could be looked at while using the rear touchpad to navigate the photos. 

In addition, a "gesture" area on the back of the handset could allow the user to make a circle with their fingers and automatically open a certain app, run a specific feature or handle a function. The user could decide which gestures would be used for specific functions. For example, the phone could be programmed to open the camera by drawing a "C" with the fingers, while making the aforementioned circle could toggle on and off Wi-Fi. The Pixel already has a similar feature with its rear-facing fingerprint scanner. When you use a swipe gesture on the scanner, the notification shade on the front of the device can be controlled.

Google filed for this patent almost exactly a year ago, and the USPTO published it last week. Of course, there is no guarantee that this will find its way onto a Google Pixel handset, or any handset for that matter.

via PatentlyMobile



1. NoAllegiance unregistered

In other words, the PS Vita.

5. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Oh, damn, I forgot about the Vita.

11. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

My guess is touchpad gestures will replace fingerprint reader gestures when the fingerprint readers get embedded under the display

2. yyzamin

Posts: 383; Member since: Aug 26, 2015

Didn't OPPO try that a few years back?

4. NoAllegiance unregistered

yes they did, Oppo N3, back when their designs had originality.

10. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I miss old Oppo Their Find 3 and Find 5 had great designs

3. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I prefer 'squeeze the lemon' feature of The HTC... Which isn't saying much... BTW, that phone in the patents reminds me of the 'original' Google Nexus and 'ancient' Androids with FOUR physical buttons and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard... Oh well, G'Day!

6. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

I don't think I'll ever use it but still better than useless 3D Touch.

7. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

It's getting pretty rediculous. What's the point of have a touchscreen? Making things more complicated than necessary.

12. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015


8. Arashmahmoodi25

Posts: 132; Member since: Apr 07, 2017

Stupidity if they do that . Useless

9. Anchor

Posts: 160; Member since: Jun 16, 2017

So we have to worry not only about dropping our phone on its face but on its back also, and what's the use of this? Just do it with the fps the smartphone is already saturated with whimsical nonsense.

13. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

Love it, finger is conveniently placed to the back. The area - I hope - will be larger then a fingerprint scanner on the back. That'd be a pain in the ass otherwise.

14. chhau

Posts: 12; Member since: Jun 01, 2017

And add the trackball from the Nexus One while they're at it...

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