Apple has just applied for some patents which hint that the Cupertino giant might be ditching the physical keyboards on their laptop series with pressure sensitive touch bars. Yes, the type of touch bars, we first witnessed in 2016 models of MacBook Pro.
The foray into touchscreen keyboards might have happened as a result of user’s complaints and lawsuits against the butterfly switch keyboards which malfunctioned if a small grain of dust landed between the keys.
Coming back to the patents, the first patent describes a digital panel in place of the location where usually a keyboard is. This means that Apple is exploring replacement of a physical keyboard with a digital panel which will be sensitive to touch. This reminds us of Touch Bar with a customizable set of functions introduced with the MacBook Pro of 2016. The patent talks about sensors beneath the digital panel which will sense the key presses, taps or clicks on the digital screen.
The second patent talks about digital panels but these panels are surrounding a physical keyboard meaning that the keyboard will stay but there will be added functionality around the keyboard. We are not sure for which purpose the digital panel around the keyboard can be used.
Apple has constantly been under fire for its butterfly keyboards. These keyboards are highly sensitive and are rendered unusable if any debris makes its way below the keystroke buttons.
Apparently, Apple is rethinking keyboards from scratch now.