Apple patent haptic Mac keyboard image 001

The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday published an interesting Apple patent application for a Mac keyboard that looks like an oversized Magic Trackpad accessory, but with virtual keys in place of the physical ones providing haptic feedback, similar to the new MacBook’s Force Touch trackpad.

Filed in November 2014 and titled ‘Method and Apparatus for Localization of Haptic Feedback,’ the invention outlines a keyboard with a flat, touch-sensitive input surface incorporating multiple actuators to provide tactile feedback.

Each actuator under an individual virtual key can be activated independently of the other actuators. The system also provides a controller to activate one or more specific actuators to induce a vibration at a selected input location of the input surface.

The controller features a waveform generator which applies an activation waveform to the actuator to produce a haptic output.

A suppression waveform is also applied to the actuator in order to dampen vibrations propagating along or through a surface to which the actuator is coupled. It’s basically a way of generating cancellation to help minimize so-called “vibratory crosstalk” or “tactile crosstalk.”

The term “haptic” refers to touch or tactile sensation, explains Apple.

Although the keyboard itself would have no mechanical movement, haptic feedback would make it feel like regular typing with physical keys. Although people are now accustomed to typing on a piece of glass they carry in their pocket, it’s unclear if users would opt not to use a physical keyboard on their desktop.

The original document  for the aforementioned system was filed back in 2009, but Apple had to issue another patent application as the initial claims were cancelled. The most recent filing credits Apple engineers Aleksandar Pance, Paul Alioshin, Bret Bilbrey and David Amm.

Source: USPTO

  • Freddy Born

    no. just no.

    • Im with ya. I like to actually press the keys as well, instead of feeling a vibration. Some things just shouldn’t be changed.

    • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

      Just because they filed a patent, doesn’t mean it’s going to be done. It’s just for legal purposes, in case someone else *cough Samsung cough* tries to take the same idea

      • mike

        Everyone copies…

  • Eikast

    I rather they implement haptic feedback natively on their iOS devices.

  • Sounds like an advancement on the Surface Touch Cover…

    • Or just on the keyboard it self.. not to mention the ‘magic’ trackpad, and force touch or even the very existence of haptic feedback…

      • Or just add vibration feedback to the Surface Touch Cover and you get this…it’s a keyboard with non-moving keys it’s talking of, not a trackpad, stick to the topic.

      • There were keyboard like Microsofts before the surface existed so I’m just on subject as you.

      • “There were trackpads…”

        Again, who’s talking about trackpads here? Have you grown so old that you can’t distinguish between a keyboard and a trackpad anymore?

      • It says trackpads.. what you talking about Willis?

      • Haha, way the go edit it and pretend like some 12 year old that it never happened. Regardless of the childish move, where’s your proof that it existed before? All words and no proof is just ignoramus talk.

      • If that were that case I would’ve edited the first one… The screen shows how it looked when I replied to you. As far as proving its existence before Microsoft I’ll leave that to you. I know you love to research.

      • “The screen shows how it looked when I replied to you”

        Yeah, when you replied 11 minutes later…keep lying all you want, you’re fooling no one.

        “As far as proving its existence before Microsoft I’ll leave that to you. I know you love to research.”

        Hahaha, the kid has no proof, just talking out of his behind to defend Apple…SMH.

      • Not defending Apple here. Look up Optimus Tactus and Amex Digital Touch-Screen Wireless Keyboard from (2007). That took little research kid.. they were screens but same idea when it came to physical buttons. There are plenty more that existed before Microsoft’s.

      • “Look up Optimus Tactus and Amex Digital Touch-Screen Wireless Keyboard from (2007).”

        Uhm, those are stand-alone touchscreen keybords dude, can’t distinguish between the keys like on the Touch Cover, thus you’ll most likely need to be looking at your keyboard to properly position your hands for typing, hence won’t be able to type as fast as you normally would. Totally different stuff.

        However, I seem to have misunderstood what the patent was describing. Those look more like what Apple patented (stand-alone virtual keyboard), I mistook “none moving keys” to be something like this…my bad. This patent is more of an advancement on those two you pointed out.

      • Well the Amex isn’t actually a screen per say. Its keys you can feel if I’m not mistaken. So that would not make it completely different.

      • ???