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Apple introduced the butterfly keyboard for its MacBook and MacBook Pro computers, but the move didn't go as planned because the keyboard was criticized by many. The mechanism of the keyboard is seen as vulnerable to dirt and debris caught in the gaps.
While Apple did respond with a new membrane in the latest laptops to keep out the dirt, it might have a better solution in the making. The company might completely do away with the traditional keyboard. A new patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office shows a new keyboard that involves a glass panel.
Many computer manufacturers have already begun to look for a keyboard replacement in order to cut the space consumed by a physical keyboard. Lenovo has been poised to make laptops with dual screens to offer a virtual keyboard to the users. The biggest constraint is that the glass surface doesn't offer feedback to alert the users that a key has been pressed.
The new patent filed by Apple shows a multi-layered system that includes a transformable piece of glass on the top layer and a touch-sensing layer beneath it. The drawings show that the glass layer will be able to be altered offering tactile feedback to the users when they want to use the keyboard. This will eliminate the lack of physical feedback from the touch surface when the user presses a key.
The patent also shows multiple ways the mechanism can work. According to Apple's filings, the keys will be well separated for ease of typing. However, we request our readers to take this piece of information with a grain of salt, as it wouldn't be surprising if the company never turn this concept into reality.
Besides, has also filed for another patent that will bring some changes to the home screen icons. Basically, the future iOS will allow users to make calls directly from the home screen.