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Apple invents a Force Touch keyboard

by Jacob Kleinman | November 3, 2015

Apple already brought Force Touch to the Apple Watch, the iPhone and even the MacBook’s trackpad. Now it turns out the company could have another great idea for how to use its new technology.

A newly published patent titled “Ultra low travel keyboard” reveals potential plans for a keyboard with a built-in force sensor. Similar to the new MacBook’s trackpad, these keys would be able to measure the pressure of your fingers and mimic the sensation of traditional typing. Apple also suggests that different amounts of pressure on the same key could prompt different commands.

The biggest advantage of a Force Touch keyboard might be its size. The resulting laptop could potentially be even thinner than the new 12-inch MacBook, which uses a specially designed butterfly mechanism for its keys. That might mean a lighter design overall, which is always a plus for Apple.

This patent was filed back in 2012, so it’s possible Apple is already cooking up a new MacBook with a Force Touch keyboard for future release. Then again, it’s just as likely the company already shelved this idea years ago, though we wouldn’t be surprised to see a pressure sensitive keyboard turn up eventually in Apple’s lineup.

USPTO

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...


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