Keyboards haven’t changed much over the years, with the exception of a curved key here or there, or perhaps the addition of the back-lit keyboard about a decade ago. That’s not to say that keyboards couldn’t use a change or two, which could be why Apple filed a patent for a new type of keyboard that would offer tactile feedback to the user through various proximity sensors and air vents on individual keys.
Sometimes, when typing on a thinner or smaller keyboard, the user doesn’t feel as much tactile feedback as when using a regular-sized keyboard. It seems Apple is trying to be forward-thinking, as keyboards are getting thinner and smaller across most laptops and notebooks.
The patent describes a system in which air would flow from the input device. We’re not sure what that means exactly. It could be tiny holes in each key through which the air flows, or it could flow through the space surrounding each key. In any case, the end result should be a keyboard that provides tactile feedback before the user ever touches a key.
[via Apple Insider]