Friday, November 17, 2006

Apple files yet another weird hardware patent

According to a patent filing that Appleinsider dug up, Apple is working on (or at least aiming to patent) a multi-purpose touch-sensitive input solution. While patent filings may be deceiving, this pretty much looks like a swappable keyboard/touchpad solution. You could place a QWERTY keyboard on top of it, a piano keyboard, a trackpad, or just about any similar input device that can take advantage of a touch-sensitive surface behind it.

Apple has filed a lot of exciting or crazy hardware patents that went nowhere. There were detachable, wireless screens. Mice with iPod-like scrolling devices. Tablet computers. And really, when was the last time any Mac shipped with a revolutionary ingenious hardware element comparable to such a multi-purpose input device?

Perhaps this has more to do with a handheld device than with a Mac? If and when the touchscreen iPod becomes real, it could allow for an input area large enough to contain a QWERTY keypad, either virtual (i.e. displayed on the screen), or as a strap-on like in this patent filing. And if the iPod gets a QWERTY, it may take on a completely new life with vastly expanded capabilities. Its software is quite advanced even today, and just imagine what could happen to the platform if its greatest limitation, its lack of input options, could be overcome...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

lmfao. "A swappable keyboard/touchpad solution." Love the pictures, looks just like the multi-touch trackpads and iphone touchscreen... :\