15:57 27th May, 2015
Apple May Eliminate The Trackpad With Its Touch-Sensitive Keyboard
The idea has just been patented, but shows plenty of promise.
Similar to what BlackBerry has achieved with its Passport’s keypad, Apple seems to have successfully received a patent for a touch sensitive keyboard. While it may not sound interesting at first, the new keypad could be the next big thing in tech, ever since Apple decided to lose the CD-Drive from its first MacBook Air.
The patent calls for a hybrid keyboard that comes with touch-sensitive keys that allows users to use Multi-Touch gestures without the need to lift their hands of the keyboard.
Indeed if this were another OS, the chances of successful and practical application (due to hardware limitations) would be slim. But this is Apple, and the Cupertino giant certainly gets its gestures right.
All of this is pulled off thanks to the presence of sensors in the keys of this keyboard. More impressively, it can detect and process hand inputs individually, meaning that you could be typing with one hand, while pulling off gestures with the other. It can also detect two levels of pressure as per the patent with the first one being the key press, while the other being a special function; which brings us to the conclusion that Apple may be looking to eliminate the trackpad altogether.
Apple is indeed known to pull the plug on components or hardware that it sees useless or which can be replaced with better ones. This can already be seen with the recently announced MacBook with its USB-C port.
We did hear rumours about the company making plans to eliminate even the 3.5 mm audio jack on its iPhones, because they simply weren’t slim enough. May be we could see this happen with the iPhone 7.
Redundant or not, the touch sensitive keyboard certainly sounds like a brilliant idea. This is because most of us often do hover our fingers over a keyboard from time to time or when we our reading; so it is a habit which can be put to good use.
If you were wondering whether Apple stole the idea from BlackBerry, think again because the patent was filed in 2011.
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