Thursday 29 February 2024
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Apple’s Virtual Keyboard Patent Makes You Part of the Computer

A photo of the Apple logo outside an Apple Store.

In the age of smartphones, everybody is used to the idea of a virtual keyboard. But it only takes a few seconds to realize why it would be a terrible idea on a laptop or desktop computer. However, a recent patent filing reveals that Apple is working on the issue and has a unique solution.

If the keyboard on a computer were an enormous, flat touchscreen, it likely would only take a few seconds for typing to become annoying and tiring. Human fingers just don’t function the same on a keyboard as they do holding a smartphone.

A drawing from an Apple patent showing a finger harness for wireless keyboard

Apple’s solution is for users to wear small, thimbles-like harnesses on their fingers to simulate the tactile feel of pressing a button. Sort of like a magnetic hepatic produced by gently squeezing and shunting your fingers. While this idea is definitely unique, it raises the question of whether it’s worth the trouble to ditch the physical keyboard in favor of a wearable accessory and make your fingers a defacto part of the computer.

However, the finger harnesses would serve another purpose other than simulating the feeling of typing. Mashing your fingers full force on a touchscreen repeatedly would likely wear out the device faster than a conventional keyboard. The harnesses would soften the impact of a finger press on a touchscreen and let the user know they don’t have to use as much force as they would on a standard keyboard.

It’s worth noting that just because Apple has been granted this patent doesn’t necessarily mean it plans to implement the technology. It simply means the company invented it and wants to guard against other companies using a similar method.

Source: Digital Trends

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