Patents are a small window on possible launches and new products. It’s true that we don’t always see patents materialize, but it’s also true that the amount of patents we see revolve around the design of MacBook keyboards. reveals an interest in this subject.
A Mac with a keyboard without keys
In today’s first patent, Apple is looking at a solid-state keyboard. A keyboard that uses a full touch surface that can be configured according to the user’s needs. So we could have a numeric keypad or a section to draw, for example. The patent specifies that here this is not a Mac with the iPad keyboard. In other patents we have already seen how the company mentions a threefold approach to make the keyboard appear physical.
This approach consists of a flexible screen that can be distorted by pressing the virtual key, haptic feedback to simulate a click, and electrostatic charge to simulate the edges of the keys. The truth is, these are pretty high goals, but like Apple says the benefits are more than remarkable
Conventional input devices, such as keyboards or laptop trackpads, are susceptible to damage. For example, debris and other contaminants can enter the electronic device enclosure through the key openings and can subsequently damage the internal components of the electronic device. Damage to internal components can render the electronic device unusable. In addition, the mechanical structures that make up the input devices can be particularly vulnerable to a fall or mechanical shock.
A flexible screen that can warp when pressed, haptic feedback to simulate a click, and electrostatic charge to simulate the edges of the keys.
In addition, this input system would allow us to resize the different areas, sections and functions according to our needs. Certain modifications that could also be made at the request of the software that we run, for example, and that remind us of the adaptability of the Touch Bar on Mac They got it.
The positioning of the input devices of the force sensitive input structure can be customizable. That is, the input devices can be moved to different locations in the housing, in the force sensitive input structure. As a result, the input devices can be moved to a specific location on the housing based on user preferences. Likewise, one or more of these input devices can be changed in size or shape by user command, operation of an associated electronic device, software, firmware, other hardware, etc. There fore, it can be said that the input structure is dimensionally configurable in that the input devices (or regions) on its surface can move and / or change in size and / or shape.
An iPhone that responds to keys while wearing gloves
Unless the gloves are specially designed for capacitive screens, iPhone or iPad do not respond to contacts we make with them. Fortunately, Apple is working on this issue and at some point it would introduce an iPhone that we can use even with gloves on.
“Glove touch detection” is a new patent which explores the possibility of adapting the touch system to detect touches on the screen using gloves. IPhones are extremely precise in terms of detect if we want to touch an element of the screen or if, on the contrary, we touched it by mistake.
The Iphone dynamically calculates the tactile threshold and it is only if this value is exceeded that the reading the screen receives is as good. In the event that we are wearing gloves, the amount of voltage generated by touch comes into play. Given this, Apple could dynamically adjust the threshold to accept a certain touch, which would allow us to effectively use our iPhone or iPad. with gloves.
It’s clear that something we all take for granted and known as the keyboard, and the touchscreen in general, still has a lot of room for changes and improvements. Patents like these give us a glimpse of what to look for and test at Apple Park.