Apple was just awarded a patent for a keyless keyboard design that may come to the MacBook Pro in the near future.
According to reports, the solid state keyboard will offer more versatility than a physical keyboard and may come include multiple touch sensors.
MacBook Pro with a Solid State Keyboard in the Pipeline?
A newly granted patent titled, “Keyless keyboard with force sensing and haptic feedback” describes replacing the physical keys on a MacBook Pro with a layered glass display and multiple touch sensors that support haptic feedback.
The application states that “traditional input devices lack the flexibility to accommodate expansive features offered by newer devices, operating systems, and software. As a further drawback, the dedicated keys or buttons of traditional input devices are unable to adapt to different user needs and preferences.”
Based to the design of the patent, the entire lower selection of the MacBook Pro could receive a large glass panel that will ultimately replace the keyboard and track pad.
The keys will be customizable and the entire layout of the keyboard can be changed with a few simple changes in the settings.
It also states that the cover may be made from glass and have a thickness of about 0.1 to 0.5mm and the compliant material may be foam with a thickness of about 0.5mm to 2.0mm.
“The cover may be formed from a glass. The glass may have an elastic modulus in a range of about 60 to about 80 GPa. The glass may have a thickness in a range of about 0.1 to about 0.5 mm. The compliant material may have a thickness in a range of about 0.5 mm to about 2.0 mm. The compliant material may be a foam.“
This is not the first time Apple has considered moving to a solid state keyboard on their MacBook Pro. Earlier in 2018, Apple filed a patent for “Dual display equipment with enhanced visibility and suppressed reflections,” and it is in this patent where they described using a second screen as a dynamic keyboard instead of the traditional design.
Apple is known for their frequent patent submissions and most of them never see the light of day.
But, it’s possible that the MacBook Pro with a solid state keyboard will happen sometime in the near future due to its various implications and how it could improve overall user experience.