Apple Patents Switch-Less Force Touch Keyboard, Could Lead to Thinner Macs

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    #1
    [​IMG]


    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple a patent for a low-travel keyboard design with Force Touch-like sensors that measure the pressure placed on a key when a user presses or rests a finger on it.

    [​IMG]

    As summarized by AppleInsider, the exhaustive patent filing details how the keyboard would have a switch-less QWERTY input mechanism, rather than mechanical switches, allowing for less key travel and potentially thinner Mac keyboards.
    The patent filing does not guarantee that Apple will release a Force Touch keyboard, but a pressure-sensitive keyboard is plausible alongside the Magic Trackpad and Force Touch trackpads on MacBooks.

    Apple's new Retina MacBook has been criticized by some over its all-new butterfly mechanism keyboard, which has low key travel, so whether Apple implements this new keyboard design into the rest of its MacBook lineup remains to be seen.

    Apple was granted U.S. Patent No. 9,178,509, and credits Jeffrey T. Bernstein as its inventor.

    Article Link: Apple Patents Switch-Less Force Touch Keyboard, Could Lead to Thinner Macs
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
  3. dannys1 macrumors 68020

    dannys1

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    THINNER?!?! THEY SHOULD HAVE A BIGGER BATTERY

    /s
     
  4. Daalseth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    #4
    I won't mind as I regularly type on my iPad screen. This would be really uncomfortible though, for those that want a keyboard with a long throw.
     
  5. antman2x2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Location:
    New YAWK
    #5
    Thinner macs? How much thinner can they get? Invisible computing? Wtf..
     
  6. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    #6
    Thinness...where will it end?

    Sometimes I think Apple can't wait for the day when they can replace the the keyboard and trackpad with an iOS-enabled glass slab.
     
  7. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    #7
    Why not an OS X tablet with a keyboard that can be added or detached?

    Oh... "no one wants that", right-right, got it.
     
  8. bennyprofane macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
  9. Dilster3k macrumors 6502a

    Dilster3k

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    #9
    None moving key chiclets giving the illusion of being clicked? Sounds awkward to use.
     
  10. furi0usbee macrumors 68000

    furi0usbee

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    MA
    #10
    I've got a fever, and the only cure is........ MORE ADHESIVE!
     
  11. ThunderSkunk, Nov 3, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015

    ThunderSkunk macrumors 68020

    ThunderSkunk

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado & Ontario
    #11
    They're getting everyone closer and closer to touch typing... eventually they'll get everyone to the point where they can get away with making the base a big iPad with little haptic "bumps" to center your fingertips while typing, and then enable applications to finally have their own control surfaces and move beyond the typewriter UI.

    Everyone assumes the touchscreen should go up top like a Surface Book, but it'd be far more useful and ergonomic on the horizontal base.
     
  12. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #12
    Because OS X, in its current form, is not designed for a touch interface.
     
  13. Quu, Nov 3, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015

    Quu macrumors 68020

    Quu

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    #13
    The Macbook keyboard feels awful (and I'm sure I'll get some heat for saying so on here) so I hope this new patent if it gets used by Apple results in a better typing experience when dealing with such a thin keyboard structure.

    EDIT:// Just to stop any confusion from people replying to me, I am referring to only the 12" Retina MacBook keyboard and not the Airs or Pro notebooks which have perfectly fine keyboards in my opinion.
     
  14. shanson27 macrumors 6502a

    shanson27

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    #14
  15. bennyprofane macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
    #15
    They need to save up some revolutionary innovations for 2020.
     
  16. Irock619 macrumors 68000

    Irock619

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #16
    I guess they think going thinner is innovation rather than keeping the current form factor and focusing on improved battery performance.
     
  17. macpro2000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
  18. furi0usbee macrumors 68000

    furi0usbee

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    MA
    #18
    I have the original rMBP 15" and I've never had an issue with the keyboard. But, I did have the entire top replaced, so I did essentially get a new keyboard last year. But I have no problems.

    I tried typing on a Toshiba with flat, glossy plastic keys. Wow.
     
  19. ignatius345 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    #19
    Key travel is already too short in the newest Macbooks. This sounds awful.
     
  20. bladerunner2000 macrumors 68000

    bladerunner2000

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2015
    #20
    Thinner at the expense of either battery life, heat dissipation or power. As if the current Macs are soooooo thick. :rolleyes:
     
  21. Thunderhawks, Nov 3, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015

    Thunderhawks Suspended

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    #21
    If some people type like me, i.e. HAMMER style there will be a lot of injuries and bruised fingers.

    Carpal tunnel syndrome like and Apple will say:

    You are typing wrong!

    and please give your heart a push Apple: numeric keyboard. Please!
     
  22. That70sGAdawg macrumors 6502a

    That70sGAdawg

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Location:
    N.Georgia, USA (on the Lake, near the Mountains)
    #22
    The obsession with thinness is ridiculous! They are too hard to hold when too thin.
     
  23. furi0usbee macrumors 68000

    furi0usbee

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    MA
    #23
    If my rMBP never got any thinner I wouldn't mind. There is a point when things are too thin and not structurally sound, and I end up breaking my computer. I'm not obsessed with thinness.
     
  24. 2457282 Suspended

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    #24
    It is a fact that moving parts have a higher failure rate than non-moving parts. So yeah, getting rid of HDD and moving keys make the computer last longer. But there may be additional benefits, like more water proof since there are less openings (except for the lonely USB-C port). And maybe they can make each key a screen so you can actually change they keyboard like you can do on the Ipad virtual one. I do think there are a lot of possibilities that can be explored here. The long throw of the old keyboard was based on the typewriter and I think it is okay for all of us to move on from a hundred year old standard.
     
  25. Derekuda macrumors 6502

    Derekuda

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    #25
    I see it now... Keyboard-gate! "You're typing on it wrong"
     

Share This Page