Apple Granted Patent for Smart Keyboard Folio with Touch Gestures

The new Smart Keyboard Folio for the 2018 iPad ProApple has been granted 53 new patents by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office. One of the most interesting patents pertains to a fabric-based keyboard that supports gestures. The new keyboard is likely to succeed in the current crop of Smart Keyboard Folio and the gesture feature will be an addition.

Earlier, Apple had also been granted a patent for touch gestures for Magic keyboards. It is very much possible that the company is planning to extend the touch gestures to Smart Keyboard Folio as well. If it happens, then iPad Pro will support touch gestures on the keyboard.

According to Apple, the technology will come handy when a user desires to reposition an on-screen cursor in order to multitouch gestures. The technology will work by registering touch inputs by using sensors. The said sensors are capable of measuring capacitance charge at the intersections of a horizontal and vertical capacitive touch sensor. Furthermore, the touch input obtained from a capacitive touch sensor will be used to control circuitry in the device or in the keyboard.

The patent diagram above offers a better explanation of how touch gestures work. As you can see the touch sensor electrodes are placed on the capacitive touch sensor. With this feature, you can touch type and most likely Apple will add a haptic motor as well.

Our Take

This is not the first time Apple has ditched hardware buttons in favor of gestures. Starting from iPhone X, Apple removed the Touch ID and replaced it with gesture-based navigation. Even before this, the company had replaced the physical Touch ID button on iPhone 7 with a solid-state one. All we want to say is that gesture-based Apple keyboards are likely to be launched in the near future.

[via Patently Apple]