On June 26, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals the development of an LED based keyboard. Although last month's report titled "Apple Rethinks the Keyboard with Gesture Controls & In-Key Displays to Support Pictograms, Symbols and Glyphs" was far more detailed than todays – it still goes to show us that Apple is continuing their work on this front. This particular invention also points to multitouch displays might be coming to future Macs.
In Apple's patent FIG. 3 noted above they state that the input structures include the keyboard 22 with a backlight 30. The backlight emits light towards keys of the keyboard. The backlight may improve visibility of the keyboard, provide instructions to the user, or otherwise aid the user. The backlight is an array of lights arranged with the array of keys. In some embodiments, the lights of the backlight 30 are light emitting diodes (LEDs).
Apple further notes in FIG. 3 that the display 18 may incorporate input structures. The display 18 may be a touch-screen liquid crystal display (LCD), for example, which may enable users to interact with a user interface of the electronic device. By way of example, the display 18 may be a MultiTouch display that can detect multiple touches at once. The multitouch display could also apply to future MacBooks.
More detailing on multitouch for larger Mac displays could be found in a 2013 patent application that we covered.
Apple credits Asif Hussain, Mohammad Navabi-Shirazi, Jingdong Chen and Manisha Pandya as the inventors of patent application 20140176352 which was originally filed in Q3 2013. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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