So in latest news surrounding the upcoming model of the Apple very famous brand of laptops, the MacBook, it has been found that Apple‘s latest patent application has just been published by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The application ha described what seems to be Apple’s next big upgrade for the MacBook device. The new patent has revealed a screen-based keyboard which looks and feels real as though it were a physical keyboard. The patent represents the next phase in Apple’s bid to shift from physical keys and has buttons.
Apple first started off with a mechanical Home button on the iPhone and it was replaced with a solid-state one. The company also deployed a haptic motor simulating the feel of a click was also replaced by a swipe on the screen. That same progression was implemented on the MacBook. The MacBook first utilised a mechanical trackpad which was replaced with a Force Touch trackpad on the MacBook Pro released in 2015. Force Touch used haptic motors to simulate clicks. on the MacBook Pro.
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Apple too things a step higher in 2016 when it replaced the physical function keys on the MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar. Apple’s move to flatter keyboards with less travel is seen as all part of the process of preparing us for a screen-based keyboard future.
The patent application details replacing a deformable screen with entirely simulated motion. The description shows it will be done using a mix of haptic motors and electrostatic charge to provide a realistic simulation of key edges and travel and even centre the fingers on the keys.
The illustrations used in the patent show an iPad-like device which may be an indication that the feature may first be utilised on the iPad before making the MacBook keyboard screen-based. However, we must point out that this patent may just be one of the numerous Apple patents that never saw the light of day.