As requested by @DevotionGeo, a thread about Apple’s patent regarding a new reconfigurable keyboard…
Last month, Apple patented a new version of the Touch Bar with built-in Force Touch technology. Now, the US Patent & Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent for a “reconfigurable” Mac keyboard that is built with a small display for each key, allowing the keyboard to show different characters according to the user’s preferences.
Although the idea may sound like what the Touch Bar currently does, this new keyboard would work in a different way. The physical keys would still be there, but the patent shows that the keys on this new keyboard contain a super small display for each key instead of regular engraved labels.
As pointed out by Patently Apple, the patent reveals a keyboard with dynamic labels that are generated by organic light-emitting diode displays with pixel arrays. These displays are not expected to have high resolution or other fancy specifications, as they should be focused on showing basic characters.
This would allow users to set up different keyboard layouts that also change key labels — such as a specific layout for games, programming, or video editing. Apple could also create a single keyboard model to be used worldwide as the keys of this new keyboard would be able to show different characters based on users’ settings.
This could be really cool and I am surprised they have not done something like this sooner as it would be another way that Mac’s become something ‘more’ than just a regular PC.
Hope it won’t cost the earth tho!!