Apple Researching Taptic Feedback For Keyboards With No Physical Keys

TechCrunch

Apple has a new patent application that modifies one of their existing inventions based on one of their newly announced techs: Taptics. The application, published by the USPTO today (via Patently Apple) features a virtual keyboard design that resembles the current Magic Trackpad accessory in its construction, with a smooth piece of aluminum used instead of physical buttons. Virtual buttons without touch-based input are used instead, and Apple employs haptics to provide feedback for key presses.

Its own taptic version of haptic feedback could theoretically be used in the way it’s employed with the new Force Touch trackpad Apple has created for its MacBook and 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. This would allow users to get the sensation that they were actually pressing physical keys, even though the keyboard itself would have no mechanical movement, which would answer one of the biggest criticisms users have of virtual keyboards.

Apple could…

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