A company called Sonder has been working diligently to develop something rather innovative in a market that has been mostly static up until now: keyboards. More specifically, they are looking into designing the first ever e-ink keyboard. Rumors suggest Apple may have future plans of implementing one of these electronic ink keyboards into their 2018 lineup of MacBook laptops. A report from The Wall Street Journal claims that Apple is working with Sonder to launch a keyboard that can refresh the e-ink to present as a standard QWERTY keyboard, alphabets for other languages, context-specific buttons for software like Adobe’s Creative Suite, as well as any other programmable possibility!
Leaks suggest the prototype will feature back-lighting and an e-ink display for each key. A prototype was spotted at an event organized by Foxconn – a known manufacturing partner of Apple. In fact, Foxconn may soon be an investor in Sonder as well. While Apple’s future products are kept under a tight lock and key, these leaks seem highly probable considering the connections.
Imagine the innovation potential here. Up until now, focus has primarily been focused on the software and internal specifications for computers. Some companies, like Apple, have primarily focused on making hardware lighter, thinner, and sleeker using premium components to build a high quality laptop. But throughout all of this innovation, little has changed in terms of the keyboard. We still use the same QWERTY standard that has been around since the first typewriters were built.
An adjustable and customizable keyboard can be a major game changer for interacting with computers. We can have physical buttons for the specific programs and applications we are running. Imagine editing an image in photoshop and being able to click a button to zoom in, another to pan, and another to switch from the brush to the eraser. This could significantly speed up work flow and promote efficiency. If the rumors are true, it is no surprise Apple jumped on the opportunity to pick up this startup.
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