Apple has recently received a patent that would change the manner users interact with the regular keyboard.
The Cupertino-based company is planning on transforming the regular keyboard into one huge TrackPad. Apple had its ups and downs in the past few iterations of the Macbook line up.
They drew flak for the poor build on the butterfly keyboards that got many users into irreparable headaches. Fortunately, Apple already phased out the butterfly keyboard and re-adapted the scissors mechanism for the latest line ups.
Apple will always be credited for the adaption of the unibody design of laptops, and they may just be about to change the laptop landscape yet again. The company just received a plethora of new patent grants particularly on the non-screen half of laptops
Keyboard TrackPad features
The regular keyboard as we know it has experienced few transformations since the typewriter era. Its main purpose as it was intended was really for key typing. Apple is about to upgrade that purpose completely. In a recent patent granted to the company, Apple is planning to introduce a touch-sensitive application on the regular keyboard
The patent features a keyboard that is capable of recognizing gestures that are normally executed on the TrackPad. The gestures included are swipes and pinches. Should this patent really make it into actual application, Apple would be able to retake a real estate hogged by the TrackPad.
If Apple indeed does good with its patent application, it can introduce a whole new application on the palm rest on the laptop body. In fact, they have actually already thought about it.
Wireless charger and peripheral dial on the laptop palm rest
The opened up real estate on the palm rest will be used by Apple for a wireless charging surface. The application of a phone physically going into contact with a laptop isn’t new. Huawei has already implemented the Huawei Share feature that lets users instantly transfer files from their phones to the laptops.
The only difference between the Huawei Share and the possible new application of Apple is the former only supports file transfer, while the latter pushes for wireless charging. Apple can also be seen to be introducing a peripheral dial in the same area for the wireless charging surface. The new dial looks similar to the dial that Microsoft introduced last 2016.
Virtual keyboard instead of an actual keyboard
One of the patents that Apple received was an application of virtual keyboards on laptops. The virtual keyboard would basically look like an iPad screen on the second half of the laptop. A user can imagine that Apple will enlarge the entire section of the TouchBar and turn it into a complete keyboard.
Again, Apple isn’t the first to adopt this because Lenovo has already beaten them to the punch with a dual-screen laptop. In fact, Microsoft is set to release its own dual-screen device in 2021. Nevertheless, the Apple design language application on the virtual keyboard is intriguing. It would also be interesting how the company will implement the palm rejecting on the virtual keyboard.
Just like in any other patent applications, there is no guarantee that they will make it into the final build of a laptop. These are just assurances that the company is working on the development of their devices.
Image courtesy of Apple/ Youtube Screenshot