A new patent has been granted to Apple by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The company has been toying with the idea of a new kind of keyboard to be used on its computers. This keyboard would feature configurable keys that contain tiny displays to label its function.
Imagine a keyboard with â€œdynamic labelsâ€� that would change depending on what you are doing. This is already kind of like what Appleâ€™s Touch Bar already does on its MacBook Pro models â€“ instead, the entire keyboard would be able to show a different keyboard layout for another language, or perhaps it could show the keysâ€™ actions when using editing software.
An electronic device may have a reconfigurable keyboard. The keyboard may be formed from an array of keys that are received within an array of openings in a housing. Each key may have a movable key member and an associated key display.
Keys could contain OLED, electrophoretic, or some other kind of display that would be ideal for this use-case. The keys themselves could be made of ceramic, glass, sapphire, or metal.
The idea is interesting and would certainly drive up the cost of Appleâ€™s computers. It would also effectively eliminate Appleâ€™s need to offer region-specific laptops when the laptop could potentially be able to display any keyboard that the user wishes to.
Even though Apple has filed a patent for such technology, the reality is we may never see such a cool concept make it to a consumer product.
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