One of the main problems last MacBook was unreliable keyboard that used the “Butterfly” — from the time she was clogged with dust and fail. And while Apple added a protective membrane in MacBook Pro 2018, it is unclear how it will manifest itself in long-term use. However, the company is already working on new technology that will save users from unrest.
Today the patent and trademark office has published a document describing the glass Apple keyboard. The upper part is made from a single layer of glass with bumps under the keys. Below is the screen that displays the keyboard layout. No gaps and mechanical elements should significantly improve reliability.
When the user presses a key, the system determines the pressing force and provides a tactile response that is comparable to what I get from a classic keyboard.
Apple already uses this method in the latest MacBook touchpads — they are equipped with technology Force Touch and Taptic Engine, simulating the mechanical press.
Clear boundaries between the keys and the feedback will make the keyboard as easy to use as a traditional solution. The localization for different markets will be easier since the layout is displayed on the display under the glass and can easily change.
Also, the whole glass pane will work as a large touchpad — the user will be able to slide your finger over the keys and move the cursor.
It is unknown when Apple implements this technology in a commercial form. It may happen that she did not see the light, and the company just accumulating options. However, given the experiments with tabarome in the latest MacBook Pro, we can assume that Apple wants to replace the usual keyboard to something new.
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