Virtual Keyboard and Magic Mouse with Integrated Display Shown in Apple Patents
Two new patents have surfaced that may provide a look into the future of Mac input devices.
The first is for a Magic Mouse that has an integrated touch screen, which could adjust to display things like virtual buttons, keys, menus, text, and video. The patent application shows a diagram of the Magic Mouse displaying a virtual numeric keypad, but when you consider the Magic Mouse is nearly the size of an iPhone or iPod touch, the possibilities are wide open.
The second patent shows a Virtual Keyboard that includes a haptic feedback system, which would give a user the perception that the virtual keyboard is a regular keyboard by providing a vibratory response to touch. As PatentlyApple notes, a virtual keyboard has the potential to morph into another input device entirely, such as a game pad or musical keyboard.
Apple is clearly interested in further developing touch input across the Mac product line. Previous patents have shown a touch screen MacBook, a convertible touchscreen iMac that runs both iOS and Mac OS X, and a convertible MacBook tablet that may function in a similar manner as the aforementioned iMac.