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A patent was recently granted to Apple for a MacBook with a solid-state keyboard (SSK). The solid-state keyboard (SSK) is a flat glass surface that users can reconfigured to suit their needs and purposes.
This means that graphics designers can replace the keys of an SSK with a drawing surface. Also, data analyst can set up a numpad into one of the SSK’s regions to ease data input.
9to5Mac appreciates this patent but foresees some challenges that must be overcome before this patent can completely replace the normal mechanical keyboards we are all fond of.
Firstly, there are professionals who depend mostly on typing e.g., writers. If we look at things from their perspective, touch-typing affects their productivity. This kind of experience is quite impossible to reproduce on a flat glass surface. The flat glass surface is not too comfortable to use especially when in used for a long period of time.
Another is that the tried-and-true tactile keyboard gives a feedback that cannot be replaced by the SSK. The reaction you get from anyone told to replace mechanical keyboard with a non-mechanical device tells it all, typing on an iPad is also not an option for them.
Is the solid-state keyboard a cool idea?
Here are some advantages of the Solid-State that gives it an edge Over the regular mechanical keyboards.
Solid state keyboard has some advantages which are good enough reasons to keep up the idea of SSK. One of them is that the mechanical keyboards are prone to wear especially after months or years of use. And any spilled liquid can damage a mechanical keyboard easily.
To worsen the whole situation, vital laptop components that are directly underneath the keys might also be damaged in the event of a liquid spill. This is because the internals of a laptop cannot be fully waterproofed. Liquid can find its way into the system in one way or the other as long as the keys are connected to the internals of the system.
A solid-state surface can eliminate this hazard. Though it is not going to usher us into a new era of waterproof laptops, it is a good Start.
Another advantage of the Solid-state Surface is that you can use it to reassign space to perform different functions just as we see in most Sci-Fi films. There is a possibility that this new technology will be developed such that you could download new peripheral inputs instead of having to buy a bunch of new devices that plug in via USB.
A patent doesn’t necessarily mean it will Comes into the market. Though, it will be really cool to make use of this technology.