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Future Mac, iPad keyboards could implement TrueTone technology

Future Mac and iPad keyboards could implement TrueTone technology, as evidenced by a newly granted Apple patent (number 10,809,810).

The tech uses advanced multichannel sensors to adjust the color and intensity of your display and Touch Bar (found on some Mac laptops) to match the ambient light so that images appear more natural. It’s designed to makes the images on your Retina display and Touch Bar appear more natural.

In the patent data, Apple notes that keys of keyboard, buttons or other input devices may have internal lighting to provide either feedback to a user or for improved user experience. However, the tech giant notes that, while some conventional keyboards may include internal illumination for keys, they typically don’t offer the ability to dynamically control lighting schemes, such as color or tone, for each of the keys individually. Apple says that, to provide improved user experience and increase potential for feedback to a user, it would be helpful to have keys of keyboards, or other input devices, with individually controllable variable internal illumination. 

Also, during operation, with a laptop the intensity and color of ambient lighting may change on the keyboard. Apple says that if care isn’t taken, ambient light changes and changes in the operating settings of components in the laptop computer may cause the appearance of keyboard keys, displays, and other input-output devices to vary in ways that aren’t visually appealing.

Here’s Apple’s summary of the patent: “Disclosed are structures, devices, methods and systems for providing dynamically variable internal illumination to individual input devices of an electronic device, such as keys of a keyboard. In some embodiments, input devices contain multiple LEDs whose light intensity may be varied to alter a tone or a color of light used for the internal illumination a key. 

“The LEDs may be micro LEDs and may be internal components of the input device as a unit. In some embodiments, the LEDs are white light LEDs having different phosphor thicknesses. In some embodiments the LEDs may be RGB LEDs, with individual control of color contributions to modify the internal illumination. Systems incorporating such input devices may need only a reduced set of LED control units. Systems can include a processing unit and a light sensor or camera to detect ambient lighting and adjust internal illumination of an input device accordingly.”

(Dennis Sellers has been covering the Apple industry since 1996. In addition to“Apple World Today,” he also runs his own freelance writing/editing service. If you want more info about the latter, email him at

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.