The physical keyboard's days are numbered.

miles01110

macrumors Core
Original poster
Jul 24, 2006
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The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
I bet by mid-2013 Apple will have done away with the physical keyboards on the Macbook Pros (at least) and replaced it with a solid glass touchscreen like the surface of the iPad. It makes sense on a lot of levels; increased protection from moisture, ability to utilize the "touchboard" for widgets or other apps in a more flexible way than the physical keyboard currently allows, less mechanical parts to break, and more that I forgot. Pair it or merge it with the particulars of this patent and you'll never be able to rest your palms on the machine ever again :p

I think it would be kind of cool, although I'm generally anti-change. I would miss a physical keyboard I think.
 

r.j.s

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Mar 7, 2007
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While I see it eventually going that way ... currently heat is dissipated through the keyboard. That problems would have to be solved first.
 

Mac'nCheese

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Feb 9, 2010
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Yeah...no they wont. Show me one case where WPM is faster on a non-physcial keyboard.
I don't think that matters. I agree with you, I hate touchscreens but it seems like SJ loves them and we'll see more and more devices with them. Hard to imagine a desktop without the option of one, though.
 

belvdr

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While I see it eventually going that way ... currently heat is dissipated through the keyboard. That problems would have to be solved first.
The keyboard is solid underneath so no air could go through there and any dirt or spills would fall directly on the logic board. The heatsinks aren't attached to the frame in such a way that heat would transfer either. Finally there are vents near the display hinge in the back of the machine that serve this purpose.

I'm not a fan of touchscreen keyboards either. You cannot rest your fingers on the keys without them being activated which goes directly against the grain of how typing is taught. To go this method, people would need to hover their fingers above the keyboard and not touch it, which is awkward to say the least.
 

r.j.s

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The keyboard is solid underneath so no air could go through there and any dirt or spills would fall directly on the logic board. The heatsinks aren't attached to the frame in such a way that heat would transfer either. Finally there are vents near the display hinge in the back of the machine that serve this purpose.
Yes, but I'm sure there is still some heat dissipated through there.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Original poster
Jul 24, 2006
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Yeah...no they wont. Show me one case where WPM is faster on a non-physcial keyboard.
Clearly Apple has never really been overly concerned about what's "better" in terms of hardware.

rjs said:
While I see it eventually going that way ... currently heat is dissipated through the keyboard. That problems would have to be solved first.
I think this is one of the biggest half-truths propagated on these forums. I used to think this, and certainly some heat escapes via the various outlets found in the top case. However, if Apple really wanted to use it as a heat sink I don't see why they put a layer of plastic in between the logic board and the keyboard assemblies. Here's an iFixit shot of the underside of the MBP top case. Doesn't look like there's a whole lot of venting going on there, in my opinion.

 

stonyc

macrumors 65816
Feb 15, 2005
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Eh, I don't see it happening... at least not for me. I will always prefer the feel and responsiveness of a physical keyboard. I make way more mistakes with a touchscreen KB too.
 

Tomorrow

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That move would alienate a TON of users.

Back when people learned to touch-type, we were taught to rest your fingers on the "home" keys when your fingers weren't typing. I'm not sure you can do that with a touchscreen.

I've also heard rumblings in the past about how voice-input will do away with keyboards; but I don't see that happening with all the open-office environments and classrooms around.
 

belvdr

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Yes, but I'm sure there is still some heat dissipated through there.
So you know it's solid and not engineered to be part of the cooling system, yet it would still be a factor? Apple supports clamshell mode as most laptop manufacturers do, so there's more proof there's no concern with heat going through the keyboard.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Original poster
Jul 24, 2006
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The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
I've also heard rumblings in the past about how voice-input will do away with keyboards; but I don't see that happening with all the open-office environments and classrooms around.
I'd say the differences between voice input and physical keyboard input are significantly greater than between physical keyboard / soft keyboard though.

Having a soft keyboard would do away with the need for manufacturing several different versions of the top case, as you could just change the input signals from System Preferences. I'd love to get rid of my farking Swiss French layout :(
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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Not going to happen.
Typing on a keyboard is still much more efficient and easier then using a touchscreen.

There's a reason why keyboards/mice have remained the best input devices. They easily get the job done. A touchscreen is good for a phone, but it breaks down for a desktop, especially since there's no tactile feedback. I can type much faster with a keyboard then on some sort of touchscreen.
 

Cerebrus' Maw

macrumors 6502
Mar 9, 2008
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Brisbane, Australia
I just want to add another factor here and thats comfort.

On a keyboard you have the keys which give way under your fingers, reducing the stress of impact. If you were to hammer on a solid, non responsive surface for a long repeated time, I would imagine that it would get a bit sore.

I mean, just tap your fingers against your desk surface for the entire day. ;)
 

Cabbit

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Jan 30, 2006
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When i can sit and talk to my iPad and it write what i say word for word perfectly then say bye bye to the keyboard.

Why should we type when we have far more efficient forms of communication.
 

Tomorrow

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Mar 2, 2008
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When i can sit and talk to my iPad and it write what i say word for word perfectly then say bye bye to the keyboard.

Why should we type when we have far more efficient forms of communication.
Pretty much so you don't have a cube farm of two hundred people all "typing" by talking.

That, and not everything we type on a keyboard is words or numbers.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Original poster
Jul 24, 2006
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The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Not going to happen.
Ok Talest Skill :p

There's a reason why keyboards/mice have remained the best input devices. They easily get the job done.
You'll still have a keyboard and a mouse. The keyboard will just be different. You probably won't have a choice, either- based on your recent disillusionment with Apple, you should understand that. It's happened on every keyboard revision in recent memory.

On a keyboard you have the keys which give way under your fingers, reducing the stress of impact. If you were to hammer on a solid, non responsive surface for a long repeated time, I would imagine that it would get a bit sore.
I'm sure you'd be able to adjust after a period of time. People complain whenever the keyboard is changed- "It's too responsive!" "It's not responsive enough!"

When i can sit and talk to my iPad and it write what i say word for word perfectly then say bye bye to the keyboard.

Why should we type when we have far more efficient forms of communication.
It's definitely arguable whether or not voice input is the most efficient form of input. It's annoying enough listening to someone talk into their bluetooth headset; can't even imagine what a coffee shop full of "copy essay-dot-doc and paste it in slash-home-slash-documents. Stop playing iTunes and launch firefox, go to w w w dot ..."

...and in any case the keyboard itself isn't going away for a while.
 

KeriJane

macrumors 6502a
Sep 26, 2009
578
0
ЧИКАГО!
The physical keyboard's days ARE numbered!

I bet by mid-2013 Apple will have done away with the physical keyboards on the Macbook Pros (at least) and replaced it with a solid glass touchscreen like the surface of the iPad. It makes sense on a lot of levels; increased protection from moisture, ability to utilize the "touchboard" for widgets or other apps in a more flexible way than the physical keyboard currently allows, less mechanical parts to break, and more that I forgot. Pair it or merge it with the particulars of this patent and you'll never be able to rest your palms on the machine ever again :p

I think it would be kind of cool, although I'm generally anti-change. I would miss a physical keyboard I think.

The Physical Keyboard's days are indeed numbered.

But you're off by about 6 months.
Why?

Well, EVERYBODY knows that the world is ending on December 21, 2012!

So that leaves us just 953 short, fleeting days to enjoy gloriously pecking away at our advanced alphanumeric input devices.

I'm gonna get my money's worth. Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg... aww, I give up! :p

Have Fun,

another minute closer,
Keri

PS. http://www.2012supplies.com/countdown.html
 

iCeltic

macrumors newbie
Dec 29, 2009
15
0
Gread day indeed

I can't wait to see that day coming.
What I hate most about the keyboard is all that buttons that are there whether you need them or not, and most applications don't benefet from them.
Soft keyboard has a lot of potential, it could be change to fit exactly the specific need for each app.:eek:
It could be the killer of the old idea mouse and aged traditional keyboard.