Apple patents keyboard design with air-driven tactile feedback

By on May 12, 2011 at 7:31 PM.

Apple patents keyboard design with air-driven tactile feedback

A patent filing from Apple has sparked rumors of a new, low-profile keyboard. Designed with perforated keys, the input device would provide its end-user with tactile feedback by forcing air through the perforations in the key-tops. According to a report by Patently Apple, the “Advanced Keyboard Feedback System” will pair the punctured keys with a pressure and proximity sensor. When a user’s finger is detected to be just above the key in question, a light stream of air will be emitted to provide pre-press feedback. “As a twist to this patent, Apple goes on to describe that flowing of air could also be implemented in a virtual keyboard, wherein each key location is merely a defined region on a solid surface, where contact with that surface region will generate a defined input signal,” reads the report. The implication there being that Apple could include this technology on touchscreen devices like the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The problem Apple is trying to solve is delivering adequate input-feedback on low-profile keyboards while continuing to make thinner and lighter keyboards — usually, feedback is provided by the downward travel of a depressed key. Apple is known for patenting dozens of technologies that never make it on to mainstream products; it is unclear if this filing falls into that category as well. More →

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Early feedback looking good; developers dig webOS

By on April 18, 2009 at 2:38 PM.

Early feedback looking good; developers dig webOS

It was pretty clear from the start that Palm has big plans for webOS — despite blogger excitement when the company confirmed more webOS handsets would be coming, Palm obviously didn’t build a new OS from the ground up for one device. What has been and is still up in the air however, is how developers will respond to webOS and its development environment, the Mojo SDK. Palm, like other smartphone companies, will be relying heavily on third parties to enhance its platform by introducing exciting, innovative and useful applications. We know the Pre is sexy and we know the webOS UI is sexy, but what about the guts? According to Network World, developers who have been checking out the SDK so far seem to feel that Mojo is both very inviting and easy to work with. Score. Palm chose JavaScript, HTML and CSS the foundation for apps and as such, there is nothing new for developers to learn. If they can build a web page, they can build a webOS app. Christian Sepulveda, vice president of business development at Pivotal Labs is quoted as saying, “It’s a completely new way of thinking about an OS on mobile devices.” He’s right of course — Palm has taken old and familiar technology accessible to just about any dev out there, and hidden it beneath a stunning UI and UX. We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to see what devs can do with this killer combo.

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