Apple’s futuristic MacBook will do away with your keyboard
One of the joys of examining a company’s patent applications is seeing where it sees the future. This is certainly the case with Apple’s latest patent around the MacBook. Are you ready to lose the keyboard?
The new details are found in a patent entitled “Device having an integrated interface system”. In this continuation patent, Apple describes a laptop computer that uses a tactile bottom surface for input rather than a physical keyboard. Jack Purcher takes a closer look at Patently Apple:
“With this next-generation MacBook featuring a glass entry surface, it also means that the MacBook could adopt completely new interfaces beyond a keyboard and touchpad… It could theoretically present to users a game control interface when playing a video game. It could provide DJs with a touchscreen turntable and audio controls. It can offer video editors with an interface that could take advantage of touch instead of a keyboard. It could be a clean canvas for artists to use their Apple Pencil. “
All of these are appealing, but what about good old school typing? Leaving aside the idea of a full-touch keyboard (although there are countless users accustomed to typing only on the screen of a tablet or smartphone, the patent suggests that a thin physical keyboard could be placed on the touch surface. This would physically translate the typing movements on the touch screen below; a technique that Purcher notes will be used in the upcoming Surface Neo, but which can be seen going back through device history to touchscreen (the 2000 Ericsson R380 is an early example).
Curiously, the next iPhone 12 family will be equipped with a ring of magnets on the back cover; the assumption being that this will help guide the smartphone to a wireless charger. Maybe someone at Apple has some attraction to magnets?
In addition to the touchscreen interface, the patent also mentions the use of reverse wireless charging, the area where your wrists would normally rest to charge appropriately equipped devices, such as the Apple Watch or the iPhone, probably when the laptop is not in place. use.
Of course, no patented technology can be guaranteed to reach the public, and even if it does, it’s unlikely to be seen in the very next release. This is certainly the case with this “keyboard-less” MacBook. What patents show is what a company is working on and developing. In the case of Apple, a fully tactile area is not excluded. After all, it has already replaced the function keys with the touch bar on MacBook Pro machines, so why not go all the way?
What is more likely is a MacBook where the entire area under the keyboard is occupied by this touch surface; potentially with a screen below, reverse wireless charging, or both.
Learn more about the heart of the iPhone that Apple will hide in the next MacBook …