After facing some backlash on its second-generation ‘Butterfly Keyboard’ last year apparently for being prone to dust and debris, tech giant Apple Inc. had introduced third-generation keyboard with the new 2018 MacBook models.
Now, it appears that future MacBook models will have a keyboard made out of glass and not prone to dust. The iPhone maker has recently received a patent application for the new design, GadgetsNow reported on Monday.
The patent demonstrates a mechanism through which different glass layers would be able to organize themselves based on their uses: an array of raised key regions forms the device’s keyboard, the input includes force applied to these regions and the sensing system is configured to detect touch inputs and local deflection.
As reported, like the conventional keyboard, the ‘glass keys’ won’t have much travel time. The new keyboard design could be similar to that of Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio except that with a glass coating rather than single cloth texture, according to Apple-centered website called Cult of Mac.
Furthermore, the design is not limited to the keys – the patent application also mentioned about the touchpad. Alongside the keyboard, the glass top case may define a touch-input region. Below the glass top case, a second display may be positioned which is aligned with transparent portion of the glass top case, most likely for the TouchBar.
Reportedly, Apple might never implement the technology in a product and if it does, it might be exactly what consumers expect. Companies usually file patents for technology they might be able to use in the future, excluding the ones they are certain to use in an upcoming product.
However, switching to ‘glass design’ could allow for highly flexible input methods or products that don’t belong to the current categories. In addition, keyboards can take a new form.
Apple may offer more clues about its future direction this summer at its annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference.