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Apple Physical Keyboards with Motion Control to Replace Mouse

Apple’s patent applications have always been a topic of interest.

FingerWorks, a company acquired by Apple all the way back in 2005, has been working on touch-sensitive keyboards for a while.

They’ve made many keyboards over the years but they’ve all fallen at the same hurdle: people like tactile feedback from a keyboard.

Now, FingerWorks co-founder John Elias has submitted a patent for a physical keyboard that incorporates touch in new and rather interesting ways.

The diagram above shows a concept idea from a patent which indicates Apple has looked in to, or considered, getting rid of the mouse and replacing it with motion sensors on the keyboard.

The sensors can detect motion around the top 5 rows of the keyboard. By sensing movement of the right hand, the pointer on the screen will move around as required.

The left hand could then be used as the key press hand to double click, single click or whatever is needed.

To sense movement around the keyboard, Apple would use 4 sensors with 2 located above the function keys and 1 each side of the keyboard.

The keyboard will offer two modes: a typing mode and a mouse mode. The modes can be changed by holding down a special key or through a specific key combination. Users could then operate the entire computer using only the keyboard alone for both typing and navigation.


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