Apple patent reveals futuristic MacBook with disappearing keyboard

“The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 39 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

Purcher reports, “Apple’s patent filing describes a futuristic non-physical MacBook keyboard that only appears when the the user waves their hand over the keyboard area: ‘This ability may allow the housing input mechanism 600 to be implemented as a hidden keyboard, where the illumination devices are illuminated when the user waves his hand over the housing to cause the keys to appear.'”

Much more, including Apple’s patent application illustrations and diagrams, in the full article here.

16 Comments

    1. I don’t even know why Apple bothers filing patents anymore. It’s not like they’ll have any protections in the courts for their inventions. It’s almost better for them not to file anything to keep their ideas under wraps and hope to just enjoy first mover advantages.

      1. Say what? They just won 500 million + from Samsung and in the second trial they’ll be able to bring in new patents to beat Samsung on.

        Samsung has lost their 22nd case in a row by abusing essential patents to prove that Samsung is an aggressor here.

        Apple will play by the rules and keep defending their IP. Not every case will go Apple’s way, that’s life, but they do win.

  1. After looking at the patent, the micro holes will allow light to shine through to define the keys. The spin off of that idea is that it could present keys or different configurations like for game controls. So it would provide users with flexibility. That’s the possible magic here.

    To Thelonious Mac, good one!

    1. The purpose is to be reconfigurable. So if you’re playing a game, the keyboard area could be turned into a game controller. If you’re in a music app, perhaps it could convert to being a sound board for mixing and so forth. That’s great if they could actually get it right, especially for the keyboard. Waving your hand over that area will then reveal the keyboard, close the keyboard and switch to another interface.

  2. Reminds me of that TV special done on wasteful science where the government was spending hundreds of thousands on testing how ketchup flowed from a bottle.

  3. Apple’s Touch technology applied to a pro keyboard-sized flat surface would do pretty much the same thing, work as well (if not better), and actually provide more options for configurability.

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