Apple patents a hybrid keyboard that detects touch input

Apple has created a new patent that combines the two main ways to interact with a keyboard nowadays: the physical of conventional keyboards (whether mechanical or not) and the tactile one. This hybrid design would seek to provide the best of both worlds, and although the patent does not mean that the company will launch such a keyboard , the concept is interesting.

Drawing of the keyboard patent

Drawing of the keyboard patent

In the description of the patent it is indicated how each key could include capacitive touch sensors, which would make that this ‘Fusion’ keyboard detected touch input as fingers slide or zooms, as it happens with the trackpad of the MacBooks of the same brand.

How the key would react

How the key would react

The keys on this keyboard would work in two stages rather than in one as they do nowadays. The keyboard could be completely ‘clickable’, allowing that we could start the pressure on the button to write that letter, but then having the option of pressing it harder to start the click and activate the corresponding function, similarly again that what happens with the trackpad on Apple laptops.

First distance and second distance to the key

First distance and second distance to the key

This new patent seems to show an alternative path in the direction that Apple wants to take with its keyboards. The new mechanism of MacBook ultrathin keyboard has not convinced those who have tried it, and perhaps combining this kind of design with Force Touch technology is the intention of a company that seems to be working on integrating these new interaction systems on its devices.

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