The new patent has been granted to Apple by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The company is tinkering with the idea of a new kind of keyboard for use in computers. This keyboard has configurable keys that include a small display to label its features.
Imagine a keyboard with “dynamic labels” that change depending on what you’re doing. This is similar to what Apple’s Touch Bar is already doing with the MacBook Pro model. Instead, you can view different keyboard layouts in different languages across the keyboard, or view key actions when using editing software.
An electronic device may have a reconfigurable keyboard. The keyboard may be formed from an array of keys that are received within an array of openings in a housing. Each key may have a movable key member and an associated key display.
The key can include OLED, electrophoresis, or any other type of display ideal for this use case. The key itself can be made of ceramic, glass, sapphire, or metal.
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This idea is interesting and will certainly drive up the cost of Apple computers. It also effectively eliminates the need for Apple to offer a region-specific laptop when the laptop may be able to display the keyboard the user wants.
Even if Apple applied for a patent for such a technology, in reality, such a cool concept would never be adopted in consumer products.