Apple has patented a new reconfigurable MacBook keyboard for the Mac. This new keyboard has a small display for each key, which will show different characters as per the user’s preferences.
The reconfigurable keyboard might remind you of the Touch Bar on the MacBook models. However, a 9to5Mac report suggests that the patented Mac keyboard with a small display will work differently.
According to the report, the physical keys would still be there, but the patent shows that the keys on this new keyboard contain a super small display for each key instead of regular engraved labels. Let’s take a look at the new Apple patent for the reconfigurable Mac keyboard.
Apple files patent for reconfigurable Mac keyboard with a small display for each key
Apple recently filed a patent for a new version of Touch Bar with Force Touch technology. The Cupertino-based US tech giant has now filed another patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office for a reconfigurable Mac keyboard.
Each key of this reconfigurable Mac keyboard will have a tiny display. The display will be used to show different characters based on the user’s preferences.
The patent granted by the US Patent & Trademark Office reveals a keyboard with dynamic labels that are generated by organic light-emitting diode displays with pixel arrays. The display is not expected to have a high resolution nor some fancy specifications.
The purpose of the reconfigurable MacBook keyboard is to allow users to set different layouts for different use cases. For example, specific layouts for playing games, editing, programming, etc.
“The user may, for example, desire to switch a keyboard between a first format (e.g., an English-language format) and a second format (e.g., a Greek-language format),” the report stated.
In response to user input to switch the keyboard, control circuitry in an electronic device can adjust the key labels being displayed by the key displays from English letters to Greek letters, thereby switching the keyboard from the first format to the second format.
Apple is considering the reconfigurable keyboard for its MacBook line and also standalone keyboards built for the iMac, Mac mini, and Mac Pro.
Filing a patent does not necessarily mean that the feature or hardware will make it to a future product. Apple could simply be testing the new tech. The patent does give an indication that the company is working on something new to improve its physical keyboard.
Originally published at My smart price