The reveal of a Google patent suggests that we could see a new Pixel device featuring a rear-facing touchpad that would allow users to have better functionality.
According to the images that have surfaced on Patently Mobile, the device would have a touch surface on the rear panel that could be attached and accessed by users just like the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner available on the current Pixel devices. The presence of a touchpad would enable users to do more with their devices. When it comes to smartphones, this device will be first of its kind if it comes to life.
However, Sony has previously implemented a similar kind of rear-mounted touchpad on its PS Vita hand-held consoles. This provided users with better functionality and controls for games. Of course, a patent doesn't necessarily mean that Google would come with such a device.
Still, we are not denying the possibility of a Pixel device launching with a rear-faced touchpad. As some of you may know, Pixel and Pixel XL users can swipe down or up to reveal or hide the notifications bar through the fingerprint scanner. Currently, its application is limited but it has allowed us to take a glimpse into the future.
Based on the images, we presume that the touch surface would surround the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. This larger touch-based surface area would probably let users draw gestures on the surface to complete certain functions like launching apps or shortcuts.
The recessed surface area is not labeled as a fingerprint sensor but its shape is similar to that of the Pixel device which is recessed itself.
The patent further reveals that unlike the usual top left corner, the rear camera would be housed at the center of the device.