MacBook Pro Touch Bar can be used as a ‘monitor’ with Windows 10

Windows 10 Taskbar on Touch Bar

MacBook Touch Bar is a touch display that replaces the old
function keys and it was first unveiled in October 2016 refresh
of the MacBook Pro. Apple touted the Touch Bar as a
groundbreaking feature, but in reality, Touch Bar offers
limited functionality and people have been divided over its
usefulness.

Last year, a
developer found a way to make the Touch Bar useful with Windows
10’s taskbar support. With taskbar support on Touch Bar,
you can switch between apps and windows.

Independent developers said
that it’s possible to install Windows 10 on MacBook using Boot
Camp, use Microsoft’s own drivers, and then display the
taskbar, which enables quick access to current or pinned apps.

However, another developer has found that it’s also possible to
use the MacBook Touch Bar as a second monitor as long as the
device is running Windows 10.

Windows 10 Touch Bar monitor support

Of course, it doesn’t make sense to use a small display as a
second monitor, but the monitor support could eventually allow
users to set custom Windows 10 functions for the Touch Bar.

It’s a clever trick that has been achieved using the iBridge
Virtual FrameBuffer device driver, which provides an
abstraction for the graphics. Since Windows 10 doesn’t support
a monitor with a display height of 60px (2170*60), developers
have had to force enable it with a custom height of 100px.

The whole process also involves Microsoft’s Common Class
Generic Parent Driver and another driver to support FrameBuffer
transfer that delivers up to 30FPS, which isn’t bad at all.

In the above case, Windows 10 allows the second monitor to
respond to touches, but currently, support for custom functions
is not included.

Again, it’s worth noting that this is a third-party project and
it’s still
in early development, so it’s not possible to try out, but
we might see more developers come up with other ways to improve
the idea of MacBook Touch Bar with Windows 10.

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