The American company Apple has filed an application for a patent for an on-screen keyboard that you can feel. According to the patent, using the new technology it will be possible to simulate not only the resistance characteristic of the pressed keys, but also the texture of their surface.
Modern on-screen keyboards have extremely limited feedback. On most electronic devices, interaction with on-screen keyboards is accompanied by vibration of the device itself and sound signals. On some devices, the screen may be spring loaded to simulate a keystroke.
According to Apple’s patent, the screen of the device with a tangible keyboard, in addition to the traditional display and touchscreen, will receive another layer with electrostatic generators. Such generators will have a shape corresponding to the keys of the on-screen keyboard and will be placed on all four sides of the screen.
Each electrostatic generator will have its own pattern of the location of the electrodes. All generators will be controlled by the controller. When touched, the surface of the finger will receive weak electrostatic discharges, amplifying closer to the edges of the on-screen keyboard keys.
In combination with the electrode pattern, such discharges will allow the user to feel the touch of the on-screen keyboard as real.
In early September of this year, it became known that Apple received a patent for a new technology for unlocking smart watches with leather on the user’s wrist. For this, it is supposed to use thermographic and optical sensors. This technology is partly similar to fingerprint identification.