The US Patent office published a bunch of new patents from Apple on Tuesday, and one of them shows that Apple’s looking into keyboard that use the same Force Touch technology that’s currently on some Apple laptop trackpads and the latest iPhones, according to Apple Insider.
Apple’s keyboard patent is titled “Ultra low travel keyboard” and it shows keys each with their own force sensors underneath.
It means the keys would register touch rather than using physical switches or buttons, which most keyboards use to offer resistance and spring back up.
Still, it looks like the keys would “travel,” where each key can be pressed down and spring back up like we’re used to on most keyboards.
The patent also says that each key would have its own actuator to offer haptic feedback, a slight vibration for feedback to confirm that you’ve touched the key.
This would give users new and additional ways to control their computers and programs, much like the Force Touch trackpads in the MacBook and new MacBook Pros added new ways for user to interact with certain apps. For example, a “force click” on a home address using Force Touch brings up a preview of the address in the Maps app for a quick glance of the location.
This patent could allow Apple to make extremely thin keyboards for its laptops, as well as any portable keyboards, or even a keyboard designed for an Apple laptop/tablet hybrid.
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