Apple is set to bring smile on faces of the users who face problems with their traditional mechanical keyboards because of dust and cookie crumbs. Apple has filed a patent application (US 20110175813A1) titled “Piezo-Based Acoustic and Capacitive Detection” at USPTO for a flat button-less keyboard where the keys may be either painted or displayed as graphics on its surface.
The buttonless keyboard inhibits the unreliability of touch-sensitive surface by utilizing pressure-sensitive ‘piezoelectronic’ sensors and capacitive detectors to distinguish between accidental and deliberate presses of buttons and determine the right keys pressed. Further, the keyboard can send haptic feedback and acoustic pulse recognition to the user in order to acknowledge the key pressed while typing. The keyboard may have at least one input surface which may be constructed of glass, metal, plastic, or any other solid material. Further, the keyboard may comprise of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and photo-sensors at the edge such that the photo-sensors receive the light projected from the LEDs which may enable to detect presence of user’s finger(s) on the keyboard.
It would be interesting to see when Apple surfaces this product in the market to phase out traditional keyboards.
Authored by: Sanjiv