Apple could offer customizable keys for the keyboards of their future MacBooks

Innovation remains one of the most important values ​​of the Cupertino company. This explains the fact that today it is the holder of all kinds of patents, among which we find quite original keyboard projects.

Credit: Apple

Earlier, information about a probable glass keyboard was leaked in the specialist press. Now, persistent rumors suggest keyboards with aluminum keys that are fully customizable.

An aluminum keyboard that mixes physical keys and LEDs

Information about this new keyboard design from Apple Labs was revealed via a leaked patent application in the press. This patent describes a futuristic MacBook keyboard that can change what is displayed on the keys.

Unlike previous touchscreen keyboard designs, this one would use physical keys and LEDs to display letters, numbers, or all kinds of characters. At first glance, the keyboard would still look like a standard keyboard. The key case would be aluminum, not plastic, and when the MacBook is turned off, there would be no visible markings on the keys.

In practice, a push of a button is enough to activate the mechanism. According to the information in the patent document, the future keyboard would be made of the same material as the rest of the laptop. This marriage should probably result in uniform design, color and stiffness.

It should be noted that Apple, now betting on India, has already used aluminum keys on the PowerBook G4. However, unlike the newer keyboard technology, these had regular key markings.

Its key feature: an ability to adapt according to the context of use

The other important information about the future keyboard is related to the keys that light up when the MacBook is turned on. Unlike current plastic keys, this keyboard’s light will only be visible from the glyph on the keyboard. Even better, the aluminum key housing would not allow light to pass through the edges of the keys.

On the patent we can also read that if the user needs access to symbols, emojis or even punctuation, the keyboard will automatically be able to change what is displayed on the keyboard. In fact, the future keyboard is presented as a physical keyboard that works like a software keyboard that can be found on the iPhone.

In order for the keyboard to be able to change the display depending on the context, Apple has opted for the use of a mini-LED backlight. This unit is attached directly under the aluminum key plate. In this way, each key on the keyboard has cut out perforations.

In addition, each key acts as a low-resolution screen that displays a letter or glyph. Note that this technology is different from the use of miniature screens, as in the case of a Steam Deck. Finally, it must be said that the keyboard will not be able to produce high-resolution images like an OLED screen.

Source: Apple Insider

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