We especially know Apple for the secrecy that the firm tries to keep around its future products before their announcement. Internally, a very controlled policy thus avoids leaks as much as possible. But even the biggest can’t do anything against certain legislation, such as that which governs the market for patents in the USA. On the spot, each of these documents supposed to protect the intellectual property of a company is thus made public after validation by the USPTO (office in charge of the files). The concepts on which Cupertino is working therefore quickly reach us…
This is particularly the case of a detailed diagram of what looks like a future MacBook Pro, but without a traditional keyboard. Instead, Apple wants replace the keys with a semblance of a touchpad, such as the one that controls the volume of the second generation AirPods Pro. Users would then only be notified of the proper functioning of their controls via simple haptic feedback. If you’re using a third-generation iPhone SE, you already know the result: this is how the Touch ID button now works.
For end customers, this solution has several key benefits. Already, that of silence: those who have a butterfly keyboard at home (peace to their souls) know to what extent the noise tapping at high speed can sometimes disturb his coworkers. And even the Magic Keyboard, while more discreet, couldn’t solve this problem on MacBook today.
With this, replace the original keyboard with a screen tactile could also allow change the layout of the keys at will. Convenient, especially for those who buy a laptop in a country they are not from, such as expatriates. Of course, we could also add a whole host of other options to customize as we wish, as Apple has already been able to do with the late Touch Bar.
Not for now
Caution, however: nothing indicates for the moment that Apple intends to market this futuristic keyboard one day. Indeed, the file filed with the USPTO is above all a means for the firm to give a certain value to its ideas and to avoid losing its paternity.
It also happens regularly that Tim Cook’s company presents technologies that never go out. The AirPower wireless charger, for example, had gone so far as to unveil its design to the general public but was finally abandoned due to overheating concerns.
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 256 GB