Apple has invented a remarkable touchscreen virtual keyboard which uses clever technological wizardry to make it feel as if you’re pressing on real keys.
Although we’re all familiar with bashing away on the displays of smartphones, few people use screens for hardcore typing and prefer to use traditional keyboards.
But this could all change in the future as old-school keyboards are replaced by advanced new touchscreens – banishing the sound of clacking keys to the history books.
Apple’s new invention is called ‘static pattern electrostatic haptic electrodes’ and was revealed in a patent application that’s just been published.
It works by using an electrostatic charge which interacts with a user’s finger to give the impression of movement and also to simulate textures.
Apple imagines its technology being used in ‘virtual keyboards’, although it’s not known whether the invention will find its way into future iPhones, iPads or other devices.
The tech giant is well known for removing physical buttons from its devices. For instance, it made the bold decision to strip the home button from the iPhone X and introduce a cool security system which unlocks the device by scanning its owner’s face.
Apple has already introduced various systems offering ‘haptic feedback’ including 3D touch, which allows you to press into the screen and makes it feel as if you’re actually pushing down on a key.
If it introduced virtual keyboards, it could allow Macbooks to remove the keyboard and have a screen in its place.
It would also allow iPads and iPhones to become much more useful by simulating the experience of using a real keyboard.
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