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Apple patent filing points to a keyboard with no keys

April 12th, 2016 |  Published in Apple

Apple no keys

 

 

12 April 2016 – Interesting piece on Digital Trends (best way to keep up on “stuff”) this week:

Apple’s patent, titled “Configurable Force-Sensitive Input Structure for Electronic Devices,” was filed in September 2015 and was recently made available to the public on April 7th. It states that this all-in-one input interface consists of a metal contact layer, and a sense layer combined with a drive layer mounted underneath.

According to the patent, the sense and drive layers detect a force exerted on the metal contact layer. This is accomplished by using an array of pixels on the sense and drive layers that determine an input location when active pixels are aligned on both layers. The user then gets a response to his or her action thanks to a haptic feedback module and a light guide layer that lights up the “keys” through extremely tiny holes in the metal surface. The components of the force-input sensitive “structure” are enclosed within the device’s chassis; thus the only exposed portion is the contact surface itself.

In a provided drawing, the illustrated notebook shows four distinct input areas on the surface. However, the patent states that the device can have any number of input areas defined on the contact portion.

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