If you look down at your keyboard (if you’re reading this on your PC) you’ll see that the spacebar is the largest key, yet it does just one (albeit very important) job – leave spaces.

Synaptics Smartbar

However, in today’s age of multitasking, input firm Synaptics believes that the spacebar is underutilized and has proposed making it a touch-sensitive surface for gesture support.

SmartBar is a touch-sensitive spacebar that you can swipe your thumb across to select text, pinch to zoom and even program 5 logical buttons that perform other tasks.

While the use of such shortcuts might save you just a few seconds that it takes to reach to a mouse, the company is hoping that the benefits add up enough to make you want them.

Synaptics may have announced SmartBar, but it is to be seen if and how soon hardware manufacturers will adopt the tech.

Makers of high-end gaming laptops might jump at the prospects of a touch-sensitive spacebar, don’t expect your run-of-the-mill mail crunching machine to get one too soon.

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