March 31, 2023
Apple Files Patent for Force Touch Keyboard Without Keys

Apple Files Patent for Force Touch Keyboard Without Keys

Posted April 8, 2016 at 8:14pm by iClarified · 15403 views
Apple has filed a patent for a Force Touch keyboard with no keys entitled, ' CONFIGURABLE FORCE-SENSITIVE INPUT STRUCTURE FOR ELECTRONIC DEVICES'.

Apple notes that conventional keyboards are susceptible to damage. For example, debris and other contaminants may enter the casing through the keycap apertures and damage the internal components of the MacBook. Also, the mechanical structures of the keyboard are vulnerable to a drop or mechanical shock.

One solution detailed by Apple involves a force-sensitive 'zero travel' input structure. The term "zero travel" doesn't mean an absence of movement, but rather an imperceptible or unrecognizable movement of components. Components of the input structure may deform to provide an input but the deformation of these components may not be perceived, felt or detected by the user.

To create a keyboard layout, Apple proposes using a light guide layer that provides light through a group of micro-perforations or holes. These holes would be sealed with an optically clear sealant to reduce ingress of debris and/or liquid, while allowing light to pass through. Holes may be formed throughout input areas providing key boundaries.

In the non-limiting example shown in FIG. 11, select holes formed through contact portion in active input areas may be illuminated by light guide layer and/or light source to visually indicate to a user that these input areas are interactive. For example, where input structure formed below input area is configured as a QWERTY keyboard input device (hereafter, "QWERTY keyboard"), select holes of contact portion may be illuminated to form an input area boundary, and individual keycap boundaries to form individual input keys of the QWERTY keyboard. The input area boundary may indicate where input areas ends and keycap boundaries may indicate to a user where each input key of the QWERTY keyboard is located within input area.

Similar to Force Touch on the iPhone or Trackpad, Apple would employ haptic feedback to let a user know when they've initiated a key press.

Do you think you could get used to a Force Touch keyboard with mechanical keys? Let us know in the comments!

Read More [via Mashable]

Apple Files Patent for Force Touch Keyboard Without Keys

Apple Files Patent for Force Touch Keyboard Without Keys
Add Comment
Would you like to be notified when someone replies or adds a new comment?
Yes (All Threads)
Yes (This Thread Only)
iClarified Icon
Would you like to be notified when we post a new Apple news article or tutorial?
You must login or register to add a comment...
Cøn - April 10, 2016 at 1:42pm
I see this as a great idea for games just like force touch on iPhone, but I just hope that they continue with the current mechanisms found in other Macs after unveiling this and not replace them entirely.
osso - April 10, 2016 at 2:54am
Bad idea.
Stealther - April 10, 2016 at 9:54am
Agree. Bad idea!
paulMOGG - April 10, 2016 at 12:55am
Sounds a good progression of the keyboard as we know it now I'm all for the new keyboard mentioned here
Kk - April 8, 2016 at 11:55pm
With that, you can't rest your hands on the keyboard or you're gonna accidentally type something
Ban the Trolls
Ban the Trolls - April 9, 2016 at 2:09am
If you rest your hands on a keyboard now you might accidentally type something. I'm sure they would incorporate some sort of pressure sensitive sensors that would know when a key is being pressed or something like the sensors in the iPad pro display that knows when your hand is resting on the screen.
(>~>) - April 9, 2016 at 3:07am
Yeah probably some sort of palm and wrist rejection
@&/:*%#! - April 9, 2016 at 8:51am
They have fixed the palm rejection in the iPad pro and it was awesome! They know the trick now. I am a Wacom user and I still use a drawing glove when drawing on top of the tablet even it has a multi gesture feature it still detect my palm without the glove. Apple is one notch ahead now in palm rejection. With this patent they can make even more thinner laptops and will be more thinner than HPs Spectre.
  e2020 hero
e2020 hero - April 10, 2016 at 4:10am
They may need to make even thinner ports and battery to accomplish this.
Regal Beagle
Regal Beagle - April 8, 2016 at 8:20pm
Sounds dope...
Recent. Read the latest Apple News.
Tutorials. Help is here.
Where to Download macOS Monterey
AppleTV Firmware Download Locations
Where to Download iPod touch Firmware Files From
Where To Download iPad Firmware Files From
Where To Download iPhone Firmware Files From
Deals. Save on Apple devices and accessories.