When it comes to computer use, the input methods are keyboard and mouse. This isn’t usually an either-or situation as for the most part both peripherals will be needed. However it seems that Apple could be exploring an idea where they can reduce the number of input devices needed into one.

This comes in the form of a hybrid keyboard which functions like a normal keyboard when you press the keys, except that it comes with sensors so that users can touch the surface of it where it can act as a trackpad as well. The description reads, “A touch sensitive mechanical keyboard [that] can accept touch events performed on the surface of the keys. Additionally, the keyboard can accept key depressions as textual input.”

Basically this means that as you type, you can also swipe along the surface of the keys which you can use as a trackpad to point at items on the screen and click them. It sounds like an interesting idea although it isn’t necessarily the first. Several years ago BlackBerry had something similar for its smartphone in the BlackBerry Passport, where users could swipe along the physical keyboard the same way they would on a touchscreen.

Of course whether or not Apple actually goes through with this patent and makes it a reality remains to be seen, but in the meantime what do you guys think? Is this something you might be interested in seeing in future keyboards?

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