Could Apple’s Latest Patent Move Point to a Virtual Keyboard For Future MacBooks?
It appears that Apple is still serious about exploring the idea of some kind of fully virtual keyboard for its notebooks – or perhaps an entirely new hybrid device – if a freshly updated patent is anything to go by.
Note that this isn’t a new patent: Apple first filed a patent for a MacBook with a full virtual keyboard way back in 2011, and what Patently Apple has just spotted is a continuation application for that patent which adds new claims, and shows that Tim Cook’s firm is still actively exploring the concept.
One of the updated patent claims now talks of “an electronic device comprising: a housing that forms a reconfigurable input surface configured to receive user touch input in a plurality of different input modes”.
A further one mentions that said electronic device will have “lighted symbols illuminate a QWERTY keyboard pattern on the reconfigurable input surface in one of the plurality of input modes.”
So is this really further evidence of a potential MacBook toting a virtual keyboard? There are several things to bear in mind here, the first of which is that this is just Apple tweaking a patent, and as we all know, these things don’t necessarily bear any relation to products in actual development.
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