Apple to launch new MacBooks with E-Ink dynamic keyboards in 2018

“Apple Inc. has teamed up with an Australian startup to turn the standard QWERTY keyboard into a blank slate,” Eva Dou reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The new keyboards will be a standard feature on MacBook laptops, and will be able to display any alphabet, along with an unlimited number of special commands and emojis, people familiar with the plans said. Apple is aiming for a 2018 launch, these people said.”

“The keyboard technology has been developed by Sonder Design Pty Ltd., an Australian startup backed by Foxconn Technology Group,” Dou reports. “The keyboards will use so-called E Ink displays.”

“Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, discussed the MacBook plans with the heads of Foxconn and Sonder on Oct. 11 in China, the people said,” Dou reports. “Sonder’s stand-alone smart keyboards will be launched later this year. The preorder price is $199.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, Virginia, Apple’s work on the indomitable Mac does continue unabated!

Apple plans to launch new Macs at special event on October 27th – October 18, 2016
Apple in talks to acquire Australian startup Sonder for dynamic key-morphing Magic Keyboard – October 13, 2016


    1. The image of the prototype attempts to look like an Apple product (aluminium, circular battery access) however the keys are very un-Apple like. I doubt Apple would have the E-Ink so deeply recessed into acrylic keys like shown. Also, if Apple was gong to do this, wouldn’t there be probably color keys, or haptic feedback?

  1. Ah yes, let’s pursue fancy stuff that absolutely no one needs and only a small fraction of users actually want while shipping technologies in Macs that are a generation or more behind the state of the art.

  2. That would be one intense keyboard. All the electronics up the key stem, power, signal, etc – lots of moving parts. Sounds ripe for point of failure and heavy troubleshooting. Most of this for one user profile that would never or hardly change, once set – for most people. Definitely beneficial for languages like Chinese and for only needing to manufacture one keyboard design.

    My house, we speak three languages, which a dynamic keyboard would help to some extent – since we use phonetic keyboar layouts, which macOS supports, the keyboard has already been dealt with on QWERTY.

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