A good notebook computer needs a good touchpad, but some folks prefer a mouse. Foxconn has a possible solution for people that don’t want to carry a separate mouse: a touchpad that you can eject from the laptop and use as a wireless mouse.
The Taiwanese device manufacturer recently filed for a patent for a “laptop having detachable touchpad.” Just because the company is seeking a patent doesn’t mean we’ll actually see the product built anytime soon — but it looks like Foxconn (also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry) it at least thinking about it.
The patent application describes a system where the touchpad can be locked into place and used like a typical notebook touchpad, but there’s also an ejection mechanism that lets you remove the device and use it for external use.
For the most part, the documents talk about the ejection mechanism and how the touchpad can be connected to the laptop. There’s not a lot of discussion of how you’d actually use the mouse once it’s removed from the laptop.
Since there’s a touch surface, I suspect you’d be able to use it as an external touchpad with support for multitouch gestures. But if there’s an optical sensor on the bottom, then you could also use the device to move an on-screen cursor by dragging the touchpad across a table or other flat surface.
via Patent Bolt