A recently published patent application indicates that Apple is finally looking to address the major gripe that people have with touch screen interfaces. They acknowledge in their patent that other touch sensitive devices lack the tactile, button-like reassurance of a traditional keyboard. In other words, you have no clue whether you’ve hit the right key or not.
Apple’s game changing design incorporates “pressure sensitive piezo-electric sensors” which can distinguish between deliberate keystrokes and accidental finger taps. Their keyboard design won’t actually have any individual keys; instead it will deliver one pleasant vibration for an accurate hit and another harsher vibration for a miss hit. Instant fingertip accuracy feedback!
They also note that the new design could incorporate any form of input-surface device for a computing system, not just a traditional QWERTY layout. As there are no actual buttons, any layout can be lit up from underneath the glass.
So is this the start of Apple opening its doors to the possibility of more intuitive and interesting input methods?
And will all these changes add up to improved user experience while typing – for instance, a keyboard built around the shape of our hands and the differing length of each finger rather than rigid horizontal rows?
And can it deliver the holy grail of truly mobile touch typing?
I for one sincerely hope it’s a yes on all counts!