Considering how much you use it and how little you think about it, your spacebar is probably the most under-appreciated part of your PC/laptop experience. Synaptics recognizes just how useful the little guy (or girl) can be and thinks he can do even more.

Synaptics is of course best known for laptop trackpads and they’re looking to bring that technology to the conventional space bar, giving it more functions than simply creating a space. The “SmartBar” will allow you to perform up to five different actions by lightly tapping the bar. You can still create a space by clicking the bar, but tapping it in the way you would tap a touchpad will perform additional actions depending on where you touch the bar.

The actions that the folks at Synaptics have in mind are things like scrolling, zooming in and out, and quick launch menus, but the technology is what’s really important here, because other manufacturers can take the bar and do whatever they want with it.

While I’m a proponent of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” I have to admit that great things have been pioneered by people taking things that aren’t broken and trying to fix them. Synaptics’ vision of what the SmartBar can be isn’t too exciting, but the technology definitely has potential. I’ll reserve my excitement for when someone else gets their hands on it.

Synaptics' SmartBar Lets You Scroll, Zoom, and More

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