Apple got another bunch of patents this week and we’ve already covered some of them. Now it’s time to cover more, including those related to input methods on the iMac, trackpads, keyboards, car dashboards and more.

These are part of the 59 patents that we recently mentioned, concerning the side screens, bumpers for the corners and flexible devices. One of the patents focuses on a new touch technology. Apple’s invention has to do with light-based touch controls, that can be applied to multiple surface materials, like leather, smart fabrics and textiles, plus ceramics, plastic and aluminum.

These are light based, function buttons, that could be invisible until a finger approaches their area. You can also customize the touch buttons to be smaller or larger depending on what you want. The light-based touch buttons could be applied to a keyboard, MacBook trackpad or magic trackpad. It could even reach future appliances or a car dashboard.

Transparent contact layers are mentioned in the patent, too. A pattern of microperforations is also mentioned. The user input device could be integrated or incorporated with another component or system, like a keyboard, appliance and more. This type of button light application may feel a bit like the sci-fi menus we keep seeing on ships in TV shows like Star Trek or Star Wars, so you can get an idea of what we’re talking about.