Apple is rumoured to be working on a keyboard that will effectively replace its current mechanical key switches. Additionally, it seems that the new keyboard will be based on a new architecture featuring light sensors.
According to reports, the Cupertino giant was granted a patent for a “next-generation keyboard” in the US. According to the patent, the keys in question would register input when lights hit sensors built into the keyboards, instead of the traditional mechanical switches.
The report also goes on to say that using a key using light sensors could provide improved coordination of the electronic effect of the key. With the physical feeling of key compression for the user.
For the record, Apple isn’t the first company to play around with light-based key switches. Back in June this year, Razer launched the Huntsman, a gaming keyboard that uses “optical-based” technology to register all input. In essence, the keyboard uses light actuation instead of a metal contact point, requiring less force and leading to subsequently faster response times.
As with any patent, there’s a possibility that this new light-based key switch may not see the light (no pun intended) of day. Therefore, don’t be surprised if this new feature doesn’t make it in time to the next generation of MacBooks.
(Source: Patently Apple)