Spoils has steadily been rolling out its 3D Touch/Force Touch technology across as many of its devices as possible — and the next step may be Mac keyboards.
According to a newly published patent for an “Ultra low travel keyboard,” Apple’s futuristic keyboard would allow different functions or commands to be assigned as per, “different levels of force input” received when you press a key.
Apple doesn’t expand too much on that concept and how it might work, but it’s not hard to imagine being able to toggle italic or bold options, or perhaps bring up options for resizing or changing the color of text, by hitting a key a bit harder.
The main body of the patent — as seen by its name — is more concerned with how to use force sensors to reduce the depth of a regular keyboard. With this patent being first filed in 2012, it seems that this could be the initial concept behind Apple’s Magic Keyboard, as introduced this year.
The fact that Force Touch didn’t make it into that particular keyboard could mean that Apple changed its mind about the technology — or just that it hasn’t yet taken the idea further, but plans to. Either way, I think it’s a pretty neat idea.
Check out the below diagram to show how the keyboard might work: