Apple patent shows future MacBook keyboards with dynamic backlit keys

It looks like Apple has a new idea about making laptop keyboards more practical and versatile. While Apple does not exactly have a clean track record when it comes to MacBook keyboards, the new idea seems to be kind of interesting and different. Patently Apple has reported that a new patent application has been published this week by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) highlighting the new keyboard design that will feature mini displays at each keycap.
As per the patent application, each keycap will also be able to display different characters or symbols dynamically. Now, most keyboards today come with plastic keycaps with pre-printed letters on the top. Which means, they are static and can’t be changed when needed. Also, some laptops also feature a dedicated backlit to illuminate them in low-light conditions. The patent talks about how Apple is planning to advance the backlit technology for its future MacBook devices.
How the keys will be different
According to the report, the keys will feature perforations through the top and bottom layers. The perforations will be illuminated by the backlit and it can also show different characters and symbols or letters depending upon the context. Apple’s patent also mentions that this can help generate glyphs that are changeable or adjustable between shapes, letters, colours, symbols, animations, languages, etc.
The application highlights that this can be used to display different keyboard layouts like QWERTY, QWERTZ or Colemak (modern-day alternative to QWERTY), etc. Or, it can be used to display different keyboard standards or languages as well.
The patent also imagines another implementation of the idea which includes a dedicated micro LED or OLED underneath the keycaps as the light source. This will allow more advanced implementations with more customisations and versatility.
What we think about this new implementation from Apple is that this has a lot of potential and as Apple mostly does, we assume that it will bring a new range of functionality to the keyboards. Also, this can come in really handy in the case of different languages, symbols, etc.

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