Monday, September 20

Apple patents removable key usable as a mouse | Digital Trends Spanish

Apple is investigating a way to make the MacBook keyboard have a removable key that can be used as a mouse. At least that is what appears in a new patent application, which was detected by Patently apple.

The application, which appeared today in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, is signed by Apple architect and designer, Paul X. Wang, who previously registered a proposal to develop glass keys.

The document shows a standard Macbook scissor keyboard that has a removable hidden key, which would contain a position sensor that would allow it to be used as a pointer. It would be a structure that would allow “convenient, portable and accurate pointer input.”

Patently apple

Apple also outlined some mechanical systems to give an idea of ​​how this system might work: sliding a key or a set of keys off the keyboard vertically, or sliding a single key from the side of the laptop.

The illustrations of the patent show that the removable key would be one located towards the edge of the keyboard, so that it is not a frequently used key.

This “mouse / key” seems to move away from the futuristic plans of Apple and modern devices like the trackpad, as it goes back to the old idea of ​​connecting a mouse to a laptop, but Apple has an explanation for that.

In the patent, it is mentioned that more precise tasks, such as those related to graphic design, computer-aided design and editing of large and complex files, are better suited to a mouse than to a trackpad.

Apple also acknowledges that bringing a separate mouse to connect to a laptop can be a hassle, and that it can be “redundant when the computer already includes built-in pointing devices.” From that problem, the idea of ​​the removable key appeared.

Anyway, Apple mentions that if the key is not used as a pointer, which would include a small battery, it could work perfectly as another piece of the keyboard.

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