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Force Touch is coming to Mac keyboards

Apple is planning to bring its Force Touch technology to Mac keyboards, as evidenced by a new patent filing (number 9178509) with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. The patent is dubbed “ultra low travel keyboard.” 

Force Touch is present on most new MacBook Pros, the 12-inch MacBook, and the Magic Trackpad 2 for desktop Macs.  With built-in force sensors and a Taptic Engine that delivers haptic feedback, the Force Touch trackpad on the MacBook allows you to click anywhere with a uniform feel and customize the amount of pressure needed to register each click. And Force Touch technology makes it possible to perform a variety of different actions with a deeper press 

Apple’s patent is for a keyboard — the Magic Keyboard 2? — with a key that has a force sensor that measures the force on the key when a user presses the key or rests a finger on a key. It could include an “actuator” that provides feedback to the user in accordance with various feedback methods.

When a key of a conventional keyboard is pressed, the key travels a distance in order to close the switch or otherwise make a contact that registers a key press. This makes it difficult to make such keyboards even thinner. Additionally, a key of a conventional keyboard typically is limited to one response that occurs when the switch or other contact is closed. Apple wants a thinner keyboard that can accommodate more than one response in a single key.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.