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Old Apr 28, 2006, 08:59 PM   #1
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Apple Virtual Arc-Shaped Keyboard Patent

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One of the most recent Apple patents to come to light is one for a Virtual Keyboard in the shape of an Arc (Picture) which bears a resemblance to Microsoft's UMPC keyboard implementation (Picture).

The recent patent application offers more refinement to the earlier touch screen interface filings (Gallery).

The virtual keyboard is described as learning over time based on which keys are pressed more often and adjusting the sensitivity of those keys. "That likelihood is determined by the person's distance of touch from the closest key, as well as frequency of use."

Another patent that has received much attention recent is Apple's Integrated Sensing Display which was previously posted and discussed in January 2006.
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 09:04 PM   #2
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Wow, very cool - I wonder what applications this could be used for... It's kind of along the lines of the whole touch screen interface, but not necessarily.

Mind you, this could just be one of the patents Apple makes which we never see come to fruition as well... I'm still waiting for my color-changing iMac...
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 09:06 PM   #3
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Yeah - I agree. Idunno how this would really be useful. I wonder what Apple has up there sleeves.
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 09:08 PM   #4
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As I posted last week about the thumb-arc keyboard, I don't think Apple stole MS's idea, nor vice versa. I just think great minds think alike sometimes.

It IS a clever idea for holding a tablet AND using it at the same time. It's the only thing that impressed me about the Origami stuff. I'm glad to see Apple is on board with it

The integrated sensing display sounds like yet another patent that Apple has no intention of turning into a real product. I'm skeptical about any real-world implementation of it working at all well--and more importantly, it would be hugely expensive (especially in low initial volumes) compared to a regular LCD+iSight. It doesn't sound like it offers enough to justify paying a lot more.
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 09:09 PM   #5
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Yeah - I'm not really sure what to make of this. The attached example diagram looks like something someone drew up on a napkin...
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 09:09 PM   #6
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I can't help but think this is leading to a truly new iPod design, whether it be someting like Microsoft's Origami, or just a souped-up video iPod device. Then again, Apple could always just release a damn tablet
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 09:11 PM   #7
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Perhaps its a new style of keyboard for the completely redesigned Intel iBooks!

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Old Apr 28, 2006, 09:19 PM   #8
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Cool!

The more apple stuff the cooler
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 09:32 PM   #9
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The touch screen remote for the Apple Media Center
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 09:39 PM   #10
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Now whose copying who
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 09:49 PM   #11
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Where's the emoticon for "yawn"?
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 09:59 PM   #12
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looks kinda queer from the patent, but i have to admit, seems pretty well done on the MS picture

Tablet + Newton combo? Revive and reinvent a classic with new Intel processors that use 1 watt (as mentioned in a previous rumor )
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 10:02 PM   #13
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This could be cool...
Apple better come out with a slew of groundbreaking products sometime in the near future.
They need to do something amazing for the PC market. iPod... sadly iPod may start to not be as such of a big deal.... I think we've seen that already.
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 10:02 PM   #14
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Right....Now, where are those new iBooks?
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 10:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AidenShaw
Where's the emoticon for "yawn"?
Will this do?
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 10:24 PM   #16
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Looks kinda weird to use. Would you use one hand or two? If you were using one hand, it would be difficult to type. If you were using two, then you would have to find a table or something to place it on. Doesnt seem like the perfect solution to me.
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 10:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shamus
Looks kinda weird to use. Would you use one hand or two? If you were using one hand, it would be difficult to type. If you were using two, then you would have to find a table or something to place it on. Doesnt seem like the perfect solution to me.
You use your thumb(s).
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 10:38 PM   #18
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Looks interesting but I'll believe it when I see it in the real.
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 10:46 PM   #19
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Interesting...

This is hopefully the way more new devices will operate. It seems very natural for typing on the go, and fairly simple to learn. I have to agree with nagromme that this wasn't a situation of "copying" - it seems like it just happened at two places around the same time.

I have to say I like the idea. It would be super-cool if they DID bring back the Newton, with all this cool new tech they've been patenting. They have the tech right now it seems to compete with Tablet PC and Origami... but no products. I wonder what's stopping them?
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 10:51 PM   #20
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It's just a software, right?
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 10:55 PM   #21
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If you're only supposed to use one hand to type using Apple's design, then it this isn't as good as the Microsoft implementation of this similar idea. And yes, it seems that Microsoft came up with this first.

One more "negative" vote for this story.
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Last edited by Doctor Q; Apr 28, 2006 at 11:48 PM. Reason: removed quote of removed post
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 11:21 PM   #22
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Hope the shape of that display isn't a sign of future quality control issues.
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 11:48 PM   #23
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Since Mac OS X allows multiple logins (one computer shared by a family, for example), would the keyboard learn a profile for each user separately? Seems like that would be a requirement.
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 11:48 PM   #24
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That looks like it could prove to be something neat. Apple really should implement some sort of tablet or PDA, I would LOVE an Apple PDA, not that that has really anything to do with the keyboard.
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 11:52 PM   #25
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I like the Microsoft split-keyboard design better.

Either way, this is hinting towards an Apple tablet/PDA type device, which is cool.
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