Apple Patents Keyboard That Knows What You’ll Type Before You Do

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Another day, another patent, this one from Apple for a very curious sort of keyboard that might be easier to type on because it’ll know in advance which keys your fingertips want to hit.

No, not a device built by Emmett “Doc” Brown (as far as we know, anyway), or pulled back through time in a TARDIS—just a very special type of board with tiny inbuilt tactile sensors capable of detecting what your spider-formation fingers are about to tap before they actually do.

How’s that make typing easier? Apple’s patent calls for a system that would “flow air from the input device” to provide tactile feedback to your fingers before they physically connect with each key’s surface.

The second method involves a pneumatic (that would be “air-related”) system wherein the keys would move in the direction they’re pressed in concert with your key taps4, thus lessening the force necessary to depress them.

Okay, sounds a little pampered to me, too, but Apple’s reportedly thinking less about boutique keyboards than shrinking the input areas for smaller devices without compromising accuracy—perhaps a netbook-sized version of the “isn’t-it-already?” MacBook Air.

(via AppleInsider)