Apple patents a keyboard with removable keys that can double as a precision mouse

A new patent filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office indicates that Apple is developing a removable key that will be part of the accessories of future MacBooks. It could serve as a precision mouse for swift navigation of the display. Aptly termed the Deployable Key Mouse, the patent filing details a description of what the key will look like and its possible performance in a MacBook.

The standard-looking scissor system keyboard of the MacBook will be retained in the new design, but in addition, it features a removable key that is hidden from view. Embedded in the key will be a position sensor that can be used as a pointing device to provide a comfortable, portable, and precise pointer input for the PC.

The new tech device will be a boon for precision tasks like graphic design, computer-assisted design, and modeling, as well as editing documents. These tasks are better served with a hand-held mouse than the conventional trackpad. However, the patent Deployable Key Mouse will serve the purpose of the mouse without adding a piece of visible luggage to the MacBook.

According to the patent document, the new key will be battery-powered and will be located towards the edge of the keyboard in a seemingly hidden area. There are no further indications of whether the key can accomplish several other tasks, although the patent filing does not directly indicate that the product will become a reality. It may just be evidence of future plans which may be modified or totally thrown away before it goes to production. Obviously, whatever the case, the concept of a deployable key for future MacBooks will suit the desires of a segment of customers, especially professionals who desire precision in their tasks.





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