The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office released information that it has approved a patent application from Apple that was filed in September 2011. The patent is for a “Fusion keyboard” that is a touch sensitive keyboard that allows keys to be multi-purpose based on the amount of pressure placed on a key.
Could Be Great For Travel
Although we likely won’t see this new touch sensitive keyboard in Apple stores any time real soon, it could be a great innovation for being who rely on their laptops when they travel away from home. This kind of keyboard would eliminate the need for a mouse or touchpad. It would certainly make it easier on the wrists from having to keep your palms off the often too-sensitive touch pad.
This new design looks like a take-off of the current technology, Apple Force Touch recently debuted with the Apple Watch and is also in the MacBook trackpad. Anything that makes it easier to use your computer makes it great for use for travel.
Apple is known for eliminating features that prove no longer useful or that can be done better and this touch sensitive keyboard with multi-function keys is certainly an improvement. The recent Apple updates to laptop keyboards by making keys wider and reducing key travel will certainly go well with this new technology. Larger, multi-function keys certainly go well together with moving around while in a car or train.
Features of the Apple Force Touch, Touch-Sensitive Keyboard
The information released by the Patent office shows a keyboard that reads input from traditional keystrokes, but also those from an interface integrated into the individual keys that will be touch-sensitive. The swipe and zoom features of the MacBook trackpad are still there, just spread over the touch-sensitive key interface. The Force Touch, touch-sensitive keyboard patent shows a mechanical key switch that has two positions. Depending on the level of pressure applied, the key will prompt different commands.
Additional Feature Offers Multi-Touch Commands
In addition to the touch-sensitive keyboard with the dual-purpose keys, the new Fusion keyboard gives the user the ability for multi-touch input. This feature allows the user to enter different commands simultaneously using different hands. Thus, one hand could be using a touch to control the cursor, while the other continues typing. This eliminates the need to lift your hands from the keyboard. A majority of people tend to hover their hands over the keyboard even when not typing, so this offers a good use for that habit.
Of course, being patented by Apple, the new Apple Force Touch, touch-sensitive keyboard is going to be available on iOS products, such as the MacBook, but that’s not to say Apple might now want to branch out eventually if the technology proves successful.