MacBook keyboards have had a tough time in recent times, with the less-than-stellar butterfly keyboard solely changed by Apple’s Magic Keyboard within the MacBook Professional 16 in late 2019. A brand new patent, granted by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Workplace, reveals that the corporate remains to be engaged on methods to additional enhance the keys utilized in its vary of Macs.
The patent particulars a “reconfigurable” keyboard that interprets a tiny show into every key. This may mean you can change the letter or glyph displayed on the keys in keeping with your keyboard preferences.
This can be helpful if it’s essential swap the format of your MacBook keyboard when writing in one other language, for instance, and will probably enable Apple to promote a single Mac keyboard to be used all around the world. It might additionally incorporate customized key labels equivalent to media controls or programming shortcuts. In addition to that, Apple claims that utilizing a show underneath every key might enhance the visibility of the important thing characters in sure lighting circumstances or viewing angles.
Apparently, Apple additionally particularly mentions gaming as a use case for this patent. Based on the patent utility, “It might be fascinating to reconfigure keyboards dynamically… to briefly convert a typical keyboard right into a gaming keyboard through which keys correspond to specific in-game actions.”
Apple has taken an rising curiosity in gaming in recent times, and its newest M1 Macs such because the MacBook Air are recognized to radically enhance Mac gaming efficiency over earlier MacBooks.
The patent illustrations depict this customizable keyboard probably being utilized in each MacBooks and desktop Macs just like the iMac Professional, and that is sensible — know-how like this isn’t outlined by the portability of its guardian Mac however by use case, and Mac customers of all stripes would seemingly profit from this invention. If Apple had been to make it a actuality, it could not shock us to see it throughout its full vary of Macs.
That mentioned, there isn’t any assure Apple will ever deliver out a keyboard with this configurable key tech. Apple information and is granted patents on a regular basis, and this newest occasion may be a case of the corporate exploring new concepts that it’ll by no means comply with via on. There have been plenty of patents filed surrounding alternate keyboards that enable for extra customization through the years, although, so we all know it’s an space of intense curiosity for Apple. We might like to see it change into a actuality, so hold your eyes peeled.