Apple introduced the new Touch Bar as a revolutionary technology, and as one of its many "innovative ideas" in the new MacBook Pro.
Truth; Through Twitter, @bjorndori shared one exciting article by Microsoft Applied Sciences Group:
"What idea might interest the Microsoft Applied Science Team for a decade?" Adaptive hardware: input devices that can change visually, even potentially, based on the context.
1999: The concept is born. A keyboard could display the active action keys and hide the irrelevant keys for a specific application, in the operation and status of the application. ”
The article mentions the evolution of the concept from the idea in Steven Bathiche's book in 1999 to a series of prototypes, one of which (2009) was “a large, touch bar at the top of the screen with keypad indications . ”
Context Aware Interfaces by Microsoft Applied Sciences Group from 1999-2009 https://t.co/rxpb66oKiu
- bjorndori (@bjorndori) October 27, 2016
Today, of course, Bathiche appears to be actively involved in the development of Microsoft's Surface Line.
All of the above are subject to a cross-licensing agreement for patents signed by Apple and Microsoft since the 1990. These patents, of course, continue to produce dividends for both companies.
The above publication refers to the idea of the Touch Bar and that it existed from 1999. Of course, the Apple Touch Bar could not be the same 17 years later, as it is now possible to add new technologies.