Apple's New Patent Will Revolutionize the Keyboard

The new tech is expected to see each key feature a tiny screen on it.
Loukia Papadopoulos

It's no secret that Apple files hundreds of patents each year. We have covered everything from a pencil that samples colors from the real world to a folding phone.

Tiny screens

That's why we weren't surprised when we saw this latest patent by the firm for a truly revolutionary keyboard. The new keyboard would feature tiny screens on each key, bringing the components to life.

"Each key may have a movable key member and an associated key display. Control circuitry in the keyboard may direct the key displays to display dynamically adjustable key labels for the keys. Each key movable key member may be formed from a fiber optic plate," states the patent.


What this means is that each key will be able to be reconfigured to show anything. This could prove very useful if you often change from English to other languages particularly those with a different alphabet like Greek or Chinese.

It could also allow you to alternate between QWERTY and Dvorak with ease. But that's not all. The new keyboard could open doors for new applications in gaming or design.

On what surface can you create such keys? The keys, according to the patent, would be composed of glass, ceramic, polymer, or sapphire.

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Bad history

As exciting as this new tech is, it should be noted that it would come with its fair share of complications. For starters, it would probably only function with new devices that have it installed already, meaning no older devices could make use of it.

Secondly, Apple has a history of attempting new keyboard ideas that have failed. In 2015, for instance, the firm introduced "butterfly" keys on MacBooks.

This resulted in many consumer complaints who found that the keys got stuck, did not respond, or generated multiple presses. Could this complicated new keyboard have the same repercussions or will it function efficiently? Only time will tell.

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