I Coulda Been a Contender

I just read the interesting article by Dan Moren at Macworld about the possible text input methods for the probably upcoming Apple tablet (it could after all be something completely different). I expected a mention of the haptic feedback system that Apple patented a while ago. But it was not to be heard of. In the internet age anything that happened a few months ago is no longer of any relevance to the future; even if Macworld happened to write about it themselves.

So while we wait for the expected event let me, under the guise of an internet historian,┬ádust the archives from yesteryear. I propose the possibility of an onscreen keyboard a la iPhone but one where the keys are also felt. The keyboard appears on the iPhone when needed in a number of configurations. Why not have the texture that delimits the keys also appear to match. It would eliminate the need to look down since users could feel the placement of the fingers, even include the dashes on the “F” and “J”. Knowing Apple it would probably feel natural. It still leaves the issue of having to put down the tablet when typing fast and a painfully hard surface. But it’s a small price to pay for a keyboard that physically appears and vanishes as if by magic. Given that this is the only other method I can think of that Dan Moren hasn’t already mentioned, I only have a single horse. Odds: 1 to 1.

It’s a technology one wishes one had thought of but aren’t most Apple products.

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