A couple of years ago, parody news website The Onion put up a rather convincing video where Apple was showing off their virtual keyboard, which used a scroll wheel much like the iPod Classic to navigate the different letters of the alphabet. It was a good parody although given a recent patent filing that was discovered, it seems that a virtual keyboard for Apple’s computers may not be so far fetched after all.
It seems that the patent was filed in 2010 although it has only recently been discovered, and according to the details, it will be made out of glass, metal, and plastic. This virtual keyboard would make use of acoustic pulse recognition and pressure-sensitive piezo-electric sensors to detect finger taps on the flat surface. There would also be LED indicators that would illuminate the keyboard in darker settings. I guess Apple is keeping to tradition with backlit keys.
Steve Job’s is reportedly pretty anti-buttons so it’s no surprise to see such patents popping up from Apple. Unfortunately it’s still a patent which means we may not even see it at all, or at the very least, not any time soon. Although we have to wonder if going for a virtual keyboard for our computing needs will be as widely accepted.