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.